"Improving the Identification of Development Language Disorder in Bilinguals: Use of a 'Tailored Items' Approach"
Event: 14th Annual Center for Hearing Research (CHR) Symposium
Theme: Variation from Hearing to Language
Location: Medical Education Building, UCI
Date: June 1, 2019
Presentation Title: "Improving the Identification of Development Language Disorder in Bilinguals: Use of a 'Tailored Items' Approach"
Presenter: Amy Pratt, Elizabeth Peña, Lisa Bedore (Temple University)
Our research attempts to identify Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in bilingual children based solely upon their English grammatical performance. A total of 378 bilingual children (65 with DLD) between the ages of 7 and 9:11 were classified into three groups based on their current language exposure: High Spanish Experience, Balanced Exposure, and High English Experience. Participants responded to English grammatical test items covering 15 morphosyntactic constructions and delivered in two task formats: a sentence repetition task and a cloze task. For each language exposure group, test items with a discriminant value > .30 were retained and used to create a “tailored items” composite. Tailored composites were then entered in discriminant analyses, by group.
Children with DLD consistently scored below those with typical development; nonetheless, the same item set did not identify DLD equally well across language exposure groups. For instance, the item set chosen for children with high English experience yielded sensitivity and specificity of 80% and 94%, respectively, among children with > 60% English exposure. However, those same test items yielded sensitivity of only 20% for children with high Spanish experience. Our results confirm the utility of indexing developmental expectations to measures of language experience.
Figure 1. English Grammatical Performance by Each Language Experience and Ability Group
Amy Pratt (photo by Phillip Tran)