Picture Naming in Early Sequential Bilinguals: A 1-Year Follow-Up

Kohnert, Kathryn
August 2002
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2002, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p759
Academic Journal
In a previous study, a cross-sectional approach was used to investigate developmental changes in basic-level lexical production and cognitive processing in early sequential bilinguals, exploring the effects of age and years of experience during single-language (Spanish or English) and mixed-language (alternating between Spanish and English) picture naming (K. Kohnert, E. Bates, & A. E. Hernandez, 1999). The current study reports on the performance, 1 year later, of a subgroup of these original study participants (n = 28; mean age = 10.2 years) on the same experimental task. Overall, from Time 1 to Time 2 testing, gains were greater in English than in Spanish and in the high-competition mixed-language processing condition than in the single-language processing condition. These results reinforce previous findings of a shift toward greater strength in L2 with increasing age (and years of language experience), as well as the primary role of cognitive development in control of the dual-language system. In addition, examination of individual performance revealed a complex non-monotonic pattern of L1-L2 change across time within an overall pattern of increasing speed, accuracy, and control of the dual-lexical system.


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