The significance of siblings on language development in bilingual Spanish-English children
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to investigate if there was a relationship between birth order and language proficiency in English and Spanish bilingual children. This study used data from a preexisting dataset. Participants included 49 Spanish-English bilingual children (age 4;6-7;0), who had at least one sibling. Participants were recruited from school districts in Texas, California, and Pennsylvania during the original study. The investigator examined relationships among birth order, number of children, and language measures. Semantic and morphosyntactic language abilities were measured through the participant’s performance on the corresponding subtests of the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA) (Peña, Gutiérrez-Clellen, Iglesias, Goldstein & Bedore, 2014) and through English productivity measures collected from language samples. These measures included: total number of words (TNW), number of different words (NDW), and mean length of utterances in words (MLUw). Significant correlations were found between birth order and number of children and English measures of semantics. The findings in this current study suggest that earlier born siblings and fewer siblings in the family were related to higher English semantics scores. In addition, these variables were also linked to higher levels of English proficiency as determined by their performance in TNW and NDW.