Assessing Multilingual Children: Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment

Edited by: Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong, Natalia Meir

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Multilingual Matters
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Second language learners often produce language forms resembling those of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). At present, professionals working in language assessment and education have only limited diagnostic instruments to distinguish language impaired migrant children from those who will eventually catch up with their monolingual peers. This book presents a comprehensive set of tools for assessing the linguistic abilities of bilingual children. It aims to disentangle effects of bilingualism from those of SLI, making use of both models of bilingualism and models of language impairment. The book's methods-oriented focus will make it an essential handbook for practitioners who look for measures which could be adapted to a variety of languages in diverse communities, as well as academic researchers.

This landmark publication brings together various approaches to the diagnosis of language disorders in bilinguals across numerous language pairs and sociolinguistic contexts.   Such comprehensive coverage is unparalleled in any previous volume on this topic.  An important feature of this book is that it includes in-depth rationales for task development and extensive details about the tasks. This makes it an invaluable resource to both clinicians and researchers in the field of language development and disorders.

Armon-Lotem, de Jong, Meir and their 100+ collaborators dreamed the impossible and then accomplished their dream. Now, they're taking the crucial step to share it freely with clinicians, teachers, parents and policy-makers concerned with understanding language impairment in the context of bilingualism. Through this book and the many articles referenced in it, we can find thoughtful advice about general principles for diagnosing two languages in one child and also practical strategies for examining the dozens of languages and hundreds of language pairs encompassed by this ground-breaking project.

Sharon Armon-Lotem is Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics and a member of The Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University, Israel.

Jan de Jong is Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is a member of the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication.

Natalia Meir is currently working on her PhD in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics at Bar-Ilan University, Israel.


Sharon Armon-Lotem and Jan de Jong: Introduction

Syntax and its Interfaces

1. Jan de Jong:  Elicitation Task for Subject Verb Agreement

2. Esther Ruigendijk: Contrastive Elicitation Task for Testing Case Marking

3. Philippe Prévost: Elicited Production of Object Clitics

4. Petra Schulz: Comprehension of Exhaustive wh-questions

5. Theodoros Marinis and Sharon Armon-Lotem: Sentence Repetition

Phonological and Lexical Processing

6. Shula Chiat: Nonword Repetition

7. Daniela Gatt, Ciara O'Toole and Ewa Haman: Using Parental Report to Assess Early Lexical Production in Children Exposed to More than one Language

8. Ewa Haman, Magdalena Łuniewska and Barbara Pomiechowska: Designing Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (CLTs) for Bilingual Preschool Children

Beyond Modality

9. Natalia Gagarina, Daleen Klop, Sari Kunnari, Koula Tantele, Taina Välimaa, Ingrida Balčiūnienė, Ute Bohnacker and Joel Walters: Assessment of Narrative Abilities in Bilingual Children

10. Kristine Jensen de Lopéz and Anne E. Baker: Executive Functions in the Assessment of Bilingual Children with Language Impairment

From Theory to Practice

11. Laurice Tuller: Clinical Use of Parental Questionnaires in Multilingual Contexts

12. Elin Thordardottir: Proposed Diagnostic Procedures for Use in Bilingual and Cross-Linguistic Contexts

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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