Developmental patterns of bilingual grammatical morphemes at various levels of language use
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The purpose of this analysis was to define norms for grammatical morpheme development in Spanish for Spanish-English bilingual children ages 4;0-7;6 relative to their use of Spanish. This study uses secondary data analysis based on two existing datasets. Participants included 334 Spanish-English bilingual children that were recruited from school districts in Texas, Utah, and Pennsylvania. Grammatical morpheme accuracy was determined by performance on the BESA (Bilingual English Spanish Assessment) (Peña, Gutiérrez-Clellen et al., in preparation). Percentage of current use of Spanish was estimated based on a parental interview in which parents estimated children language input and output. The average percent accuracy of grammatical morphemes was calculated and analyzed as a function of current use of Spanish and of chronological age. Results show that the percentage of accurately produced morphemes has a general upward trend as Spanish use and age increases. These findings will help define expectations for bilingual children that in turn can inform the development of intervention goals.