Phonological skills in predominantly english-speaking, predominantly spanish-speaking, and spanish-english bilingual children

Brian A. Goldstein, Leah Fabiano, Patricia Swasey Washington

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: There is a paucity of information detailing the phonological skills of Spanish-English bilingual children and comparing that information to information concerning the phonological skills of predominantly English-speaking (PE) and predominantly Spanish-speaking (PS) children. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between amount of output (i.e., percentage of time each language was spoken) in each language and phonological skills in Spanish-English bilingual children and PE and PS children. Method: Fifteen typically developing children, ranging in age from 5;0 (years;months) to 5;5 (mean = 5;2), participated in the study. The participants consisted of 5 PE speakers, 5 PS speakers, and 5 bilingual (Spanish-English) speakers. A single-word assessment was used to gather information on phonological skills (consonant accuracy, type and frequency of substitutions, frequency of occurrence of phonological patterns [e.g., cluster reduction], accuracy of syllable types [e.g., CV, CVC, CCV, etc.]), and type and rate of cross-linguistic effects. Results: The results indicated that there was no significant correlation between amount of output in each language and phonological skills either in the Spanish skills of PS children and Spanish-English bilingual speakers or in the English skills of PE children and Spanish-English bilingual speakers. In addition, there was no significant difference in segmental accuracy, syllabic accuracy, or percentage of occurrence of phonological patterns between either the Spanish skills of PS children and Spanish-English bilingual speakers or the English skills of PE children and Spanish-English bilingual speakers. Finally, the children showed a limited number of cross-linguistic effects. Clinical Implications: Results from this study indicate no link between parent estimates of language output and phonological skill and demonstrate that Spanish-English bilingual children will have commensurate, although not identical, phonological skills as compared to age-matched PS and PE children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-218
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bilingual
  • Phonological
  • Predominantly English
  • Predominantly Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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