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ven. 18/06/2021 Risk and protective environmental factors for early bilingual language acquisition
En Visioconférence
Conférence de :
  • Daniela Gatt (University of Malta)

Séminaire Bilinguisme de l'Axe DENDY

Bilingual language exposure is highly variable, with wide-ranging influences on early language skills. It is therefore important to appreciate the impact of bilingual exposure on early bilingual language acquisition so that children with typical development can be differentiated from those who are at risk for language disorder. Vocabulary measures are often used to gain insight on young children’s rate of language development. It is recommended that bilingual measures are used with bilingual children, so that the totality of vocabulary distributed across both languages is uncovered. This presentation will first review current theoretical knowledge on vocabulary acquisition in children developing bilingually. It will then report on research carried out within COST Action IS0804 (Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment) that aimed to identify environmental factors that restricted bilingual children’s expressive vocabulary development and others that enhanced it. A harmonized methodology was employed to investigate risk and protective environmental factors in children aged 16–45 months who were exposed to six different language pairs in varying bilingual contexts. The outcomes of this cross-linguistic research contribute towards answering theoretical questions regarding early bilingual vocabulary acquisition. They also have clinical relevance, potentially assisting in distinguishing between clinically significant difficulties in bilingual acquisition and the natural consequences of bilingual exposure.
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