The Persistence and Functional Impact of English Language Difficulties Experienced by Children Learning English as an Additional Language and Monolingual Peers Purpose This study explored whether a monolingual-normed English language battery could identify children with English as an additional language (EAL) who have persistent English language learning difficulties that affect functional academic attainment. Method Children with EAL (n = 43) and monolingual English-speaking children (n = 46) completed a ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   June 15, 2017
The Persistence and Functional Impact of English Language Difficulties Experienced by Children Learning English as an Additional Language and Monolingual Peers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katie E. Whiteside
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • Courtenay Frazier Norbury
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
    Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, UK
  • 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 Courtenay Norbury: c.norbury@ucl.ac.uk
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Patricia Eadie
    Associate Editor: Patricia Eadie×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   June 15, 2017
The Persistence and Functional Impact of English Language Difficulties Experienced by Children Learning English as an Additional Language and Monolingual Peers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0318
History: Received August 5, 2016 , Revised November 10, 2016 , Accepted January 12, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0318
History: Received August 5, 2016; Revised November 10, 2016; Accepted January 12, 2017

Purpose This study explored whether a monolingual-normed English language battery could identify children with English as an additional language (EAL) who have persistent English language learning difficulties that affect functional academic attainment.

Method Children with EAL (n = 43) and monolingual English-speaking children (n = 46) completed a comprehensive monolingual-normed English language battery in Year 1 (ages 5–6 years) and Year 3 (ages 7–8 years). Children with EAL and monolingual peers, who either met monolingual criteria for language impairment or typical development on the language battery in Year 1, were compared on language growth between Year 1 and Year 3 and on attainment in national curriculum assessments in Year 2 (ages 6–7 years).

Results Children with EAL and monolingual peers who met monolingual criteria for language impairment in Year 1 continued to display comparably impaired overall language ability 2 years later in Year 3. Moreover, these groups displayed comparably low levels of academic attainment in Year 2, demonstrating comparable functional impact of their language difficulties.

Conclusion Monolingual-normed language batteries in the majority language may have some practical value for identifying bilingual children who need support with language learning, regardless of the origin of their language difficulties.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust (WT094836AIA) to the second author and a Crossland Scholarship awarded by Royal Holloway, University of London, to the first author. We would like to thank the schools, parents, and children who took part, as well as Surrey County Council for providing data from Year 2 assessments. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Wellcome Trust or Surrey County Council.
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