Thursday, December 10, 2015
Language ability groups in bilingual children: A latent profile analysis
Kapantzoglou, M., Restrepo, M.A., Gray, S., & Thompson, M.S. (2015). Language ability groups in bilingual children: A latent profile analysis
Children with a relatively specific and unexpected atypical language development are considered to have a Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Nevertheless, SLI groups are notoriously heterogeneous such that some children have relative deficits in some or another aspect of language. One effort to understand this heterogeneity is to examine language profiles in groups in the population.
This studied was based on a large group of predominantly Spanish speaking 5-7 year old children who were receiving school instruction in English. Measures of lexical diversity, grammar, length of utterance, rapid naming, nonword repetition, and nonverbal intelligence were completed in Spanish. A Latent Profile Analysis, a statistical method for identifying latent groups with similar profiles based on the variables (scores) considered. Results of this analysis revealed three groups: an average ability group, a group with relative deficits in the measure of grammar, and a group with relative deficits in nonword repetition. The nonword repetition deficit was considered to reflect a deficit in working memory.
The authors suggested that children might have difficulty learning language for two reasons: difficulties with grammar or processing phonological aspects of language. Further, they called for the assessment of both grammar and working memory for phonological information in children with developmental concerns about language.
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