Item Selection for a Structural Priming Task to be used with Spanish-English Bilingual Children with and without Language Impairment

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Date

2010-05

Authors

Eagleson, Rebecca

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Abstract

Results from traditional assessment measures used with Spanish-English bilingual children may not be representative of this population’s morphosyntactic abilities due to their dynamic proficiencies. Short-term learning tasks such as structural priming may provide more comprehensive information on bilingual children’s morphosyntactic abilities. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze items from the experimental version of the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment-Middle Extension (BESA-ME) in order to select appropriate item types to be used on a structural priming task. The Experimental BESA-ME was administered to 137 children with typical development and 37 children with language impairment between the ages of 7;0 to 9;11. Results revealed that appropriate items for a structural priming task were third-person singular, past tense, and possessives in English, and conditionals, subjunctives, and direct object clitics in Spanish. Depending on the purpose of the structural priming tasks, additional items also showed potential for use.

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