The Search for Common Ground: Part I. Lexical Performance by Linguistically Diverse Learners

Windsor, Jennifer; Kohnert, Kathryn
August 2004
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2004, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p877
Academic Journal
This study examines lexical performance by 3 groups of linguistically diverse school-age learners: English-only speakers with primary language impairment (LI), typical English-only speakers (EO), and typical bilingual Spanish-English speakers (BI). The accuracy and response time (RT) of 100 8- to 13-year-old children in word recognition and picture-naming tasks were analyzed. Within each task, stimulus difficulty was manipulated to include very easy stimuli (words that were high frequency/had an early age of acquisition in English) and more difficult stimuli (words of low frequency/late age of acquisition [AOA]). There was no difference among groups in real-word recognition accuracy or RT; all 3 groups showed lower accuracy with low-frequency words. In picture naming, all 3 groups showed a longer RT for words with a late AOA, although AOA had a disproportionate negative impact on BI performance. The EO group was faster and more accurate than both LI and BI groups in conditions with later acquired stimuli. Results are discussed in terms of quantitative differences separating EO children from the other 2 groups and qualitative similarities linking monolingual children with and without LI.


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