Event: UCI Summer Research Symposium
Date: August 15, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Title: Language Impairment in Bilinguals: A Longitudinal Study of Grammatical Performance
Author: Megan Walsh
Mentors: Elizabeth Peña, Amy Pratt
With bilinguals, it is difficult to tease apart whether errors in English are the result of underlying impairment (DLD: Developmental Language Disorder) or the result of limited English. Bilinguals are often misdiagnosed due to variations in equipment. In addition, although the gold standard is to diagnose a child in both of his or her languages, only 6% of speech language pathologists (SLPs) in the U.S. speak a second language. In a longitudinal study of grammatical performance in bilinguals, we found that bilinguals with DLD show similar rates of growth overall as bilinguals with typical development (TD) though some grammatical forms are acquired more slowly. These forms may be candidates for clinical markers that can help identify bilinguals with DVD. There is evidence that although bilinguals with DLD grow at a similar rate to their TD counterparts in English grammatical composition, they do not appear to close the gap by 5th grade.