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Age and Language Experience

I’ve been meaning to post on a new(ish) paper we recently published in JSLHR on semantic deficits in bilingual children with language impairment. I will write about that, but what’s been on my mind is the issue of understanding children’s performance relative to their language experiences. In making diagnostic decisions about bilingual children who may have language impairment, we need to filter or interpret language performance through what it is we know about their age and experiences. For monolinguals age alone is usually a good index for linguistic experience. We expect that at certain ages, children will have had similar linguistic experiences. Thus, we can make predictions about what kinds of words, relationships among words, and number of words children should know by certain ages. For bilinguals, it’s not nearly as straightforward. Read the rest of this entry »

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