19. Using parental reports to examine early language development in bilingual children: CDIs and beyond
early language development, vocabulary acquisition, first words, language input, parental reports
Ewa Haman, Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw
Anna Sara H. Romøren, Department of Early Childhood Education, Oslo Metropolitan University
Bilingual environment is quantitatively different from that of monolinguals: there are two languages present in the child’s environment and, as a consequence, a bilingual child hears less of each language when compared to the input received by a monolingual child (e.g. De Houwer, 2014; Hoff & Core, 2013; Unsworth, 2016). Although bilingual children are able to effectively acquire two languages despite some exposure limitations (Gathercole, 2018), it is interesting to monitor in detail these exposure patterns and how they affect the children’s development in both languages.
The aim of the present section, in line with the conference’s theme “Bilingualism in flux”, is to demonstrate trajectories of language development in bilingual and monolingual children from their first words to vocabulary size at early school age. First three talks in the section will present data that is being gathered in an on-going project (StarWords) involving researchers from Poland, Norway and the UK. In StarWords, we track the production of first words and the growth of the lexicon using parental reports: a smartphone application created within the project and norm-based assessment tools (MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories, CDIs). We gather longitudinal information of three kinds: (1) on the exact age of the appearance of first words; (2) on the size of the children’s vocabularies through ages 1 to 3 years old; (3) on the quantity and quality of exposure to the children’s language(s). We study Polish speaking bilingual children (with Polish as L1) in two bilingual populations: with L2 Norwegian and L2 English, and compare them to Polish monolingual peers. In the last presentation, based on a finished PhD project, we explore the impact of a large number of internal and external factors on the bilingual children’s vocabulary size studied at two timepoints: at the age of 2-3 and at the age of 5;6-7;6.
Establishing the developmental trajectories in language acquisition in different populations is an important issue since it informs practitioners which patterns of language development are typical and which need special attention if occur. By demonstrating results from two large populations of Polish bilingual children (Polish-English bilinguals in the UK and Polish-Norwegian bilinguals in Norway), the section will provide a general model for comparing bilingual developmental trajectories in other language pairs. Moreover, by linking children’s performance from pre-school to early-school age, we will show how the role of internal and external factors in predicting vocabulary size change over time and how the specific features of the Polish-English children’s language environment might explain this phenomenon. Last but not least, the section will also cover the topic of using parental reports, more specifically, MacArthur-Bates CDI with children over the age of 3 years. We will present Polish adaptation of the CDI-III, which may prove to be an incredibly useful tool for both clinicians and researchers of child language.
The titles of the proposed presentations within the section:
- Early lexical development in bilinguals and monolinguals: the appearance of first words and the size of the children’s vocabulary at age 12 months.
- Linking input patterns in bilingual families to early vocabulary in L1 and L2.
- Development of CDI-III for children over the age of 3 years.
- Child-internal and child-external factors predicting early and later vocabulary size in L1 and L2: A longitudinal study.
- Early lexical development in bilinguals and monolinguals: the appearance of first words and the size of the children’s vocabulary at age 12 months, Magdalena Łuniewska, et al., Agnieszka Kacprzak, Karolina Mieszkowska, Grzegorz Krajewski, Anna Sara H. Romøren, Nina Gram Garmann, Pernille Hansen, Hanne Gram Simonsen, Ewa Haman
- Linking input patterns in bilingual families to early vocabulary in L1 and L2, Karolina Mieszkowska, Magdalena Łuniewska, Agnieszka Kacprzak, Grzegorz Krajewski, Anna Sara H. Romøren, Pernille Hansen, Nina Gram Garmann, Hanne Gram Simonsen, Ewa Haman
- Development of CDI-III for children over the age of 3 years, Grzegorz Krajewski, Karolina Mieszkowska, Magdalena Łuniewska, Agnieszka Kacprzak, Ewa Haman
- Child-internal and child-external factors predicting early and later vocabulary size in L1 and L2: A longitudinal study, Joanna Kołak, Ewa Haman, Zofia Wodniecka
- Do parents really know? The Efficacy of Parent-Report Data on Bilingual Child Language Outcomes, Isabella Speranza, Maya Aharon, Somayah Al-Ees, Nicole Boles, Siobhan Galeazzi, Alisha Suri and Monika Molnar