A Quasi-Universal Nonword Repetition Task as a Diagnostic Tool for Bilingual Children Learning Dutch as a Second Language Purpose This study evaluated a newly developed quasi-universal nonword repetition task (Q-U NWRT) as a diagnostic tool for bilingual children with language impairment (LI) who have Dutch as a 2nd language. The Q-U NWRT was designed to be minimally influenced by knowledge of 1 specific language in contrast to a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2015
A Quasi-Universal Nonword Repetition Task as a Diagnostic Tool for Bilingual Children Learning Dutch as a Second Language
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tessel Boerma
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Shula Chiat
    City University London, England
  • Paul Leseman
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Mona Timmermeister
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Frank Wijnen
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Elma Blom
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Tessel Boerma: t.d.boerma@uu.nl
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Lizbeth Finestack
    Associate Editor: Lizbeth Finestack×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2015
A Quasi-Universal Nonword Repetition Task as a Diagnostic Tool for Bilingual Children Learning Dutch as a Second Language
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1747-1760. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0058
History: Received February 11, 2015 , Revised May 12, 2015 , Accepted July 27, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1747-1760. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0058
History: Received February 11, 2015; Revised May 12, 2015; Accepted July 27, 2015

Purpose This study evaluated a newly developed quasi-universal nonword repetition task (Q-U NWRT) as a diagnostic tool for bilingual children with language impairment (LI) who have Dutch as a 2nd language. The Q-U NWRT was designed to be minimally influenced by knowledge of 1 specific language in contrast to a language-specific NWRT with which it was compared.

Method One hundred twenty monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI participated (30 per group). A mixed-design analysis of variance was used to investigate the effects of LI and bilingualism on the NWRTs. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were conducted to evaluate the instruments' diagnostic value.

Results Large negative effects of LI were found on both NWRTs, whereas negative effects of bilingualism only occurred on the language-specific NWRT. Both instruments had high clinical accuracy in the monolingual group, but only the Q-U NWRT had high clinical accuracy in the bilingual group.

Conclusions This study indicates that the Q-U NWRT is a promising diagnostic tool to help identify LI in bilingual children learning Dutch as a 2nd language. The instrument was clinically accurate in both a monolingual and bilingual group of children and seems better able to disentangle LI from language disadvantage than more language-specific measures.

Acknowledgments
This work is part of the research program Cognitive Development in the Context of Emerging Bilingualism: Cultural Minority Children in the Netherlands, which is financed by a VIDI grant awarded to Elma Blom by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. We thank the children, parents, and schools that participated in the study. We give special thanks to Judith Rispens for placing her instrument at our disposal.
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