Narrative Tasks in Bilingual Aphasia

Here is a conundrum:

If there are other researchers out there collecting narrative data from adult bilinguals, please provide your input.

For patients with bilingual aphasia, would  you:

(a) use narrative tasks that have been normed on adult bilingual adults or bilingual children (e.g., Frog where are you?) and try to extend them aphasia?


(b) use narrative tasks that have been normed on adult aphasic patients (e.g., Cinderella) and extend the sample to bilingual adults.

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  1. #1 by Elizabeth Peña on February 2, 2009 - 7:56 pm

    Okay, I’ll bite…you know that my bias is to do a wordless narrative sample in each language. Here are some of my reasons.
    1. You can see how well the patient can construct a narrative (vs. just remembering a familiar story).
    2. You can do comparisons across languages at both the macro and micro levels.
    3. I wonder if a story like Cinderella would be culturally universal or if there would be a bias toward one or another language.

    Of course, the problem is that there isn’t much normative adult bilingual aphasia data on this and the task may be too difficult for people with aphasia. Here’s what we’ve done with children that might work with these adults:
    1. model a story in each language and have them retell it (using the pictures to support it)
    2. shorten the frog story so that it is simpler and not as much of a memory load.
    3. do analysis of the story elements included, also other analyses (number of utterances, number of words, number of different words) can be done.
    4. compare to available monolingual data in each language (so, compare to monolingual Mandarin and monolingual English data), meanwhile collect data from bilinguals.

    Keep in mind of course that my work is with children not with adults, so these strategies probably would need further refinining and adapting.

  2. #2 by Raúl Rojas on March 4, 2009 - 11:39 pm

    Hi Swathi!!!

    I am currently conducting a study with both monolingual and bilingual adults, including measures of visual mapping and narrative language sampling (FWAY).

    I don’t have a lot of participants (eventual total N ~80-100), but I have finished the monolingual Spanish and monolingual English data collection. I am about to start collection with bilingual (Spanish-English) adults soon.

    These are young adults by the way, with a mean age range of 19-20.

    My inclination would be to use narrative-language data that has been normed on bilingual adults as a starting point, to serve as your benchmark.

  3. #3 by kiranswathi on March 10, 2009 - 6:48 pm

    Thanks Raul for your input. I wonder if there will be a way to share your database with us once your project is complete. I think your database will be very useful especially because you are comparing monolinguals with bilinguals. best,

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