There is a fundamental lack of empirical evidence on which service providers can base their treatment decisions with bilingual children with developmental language impairment. This exploratory project investigates the absolute and relative effectiveness of three different training conditions on language outcomes in bilingual school-age children with """"""""specific"""""""" or primary language impairment (PLI). Participants are 48 Spanish-English bilingual children, 6-to-10 years-old, who are randomly assigned to one of the three training conditions. Two of the training conditions, English-only and Bilingual (Spanish-English), are language-based treatments designed to investigate possibilities and constraints on cross-language generalization in bilingual PLI. The third condition, Cognitive training, is a nonlinguistic treatment designed to investigate the potential of cross-domain (cognition to language) generalization, providing insight into the causal nature of PLI. Training in each condition is implemented four days per week in 90 minute sessions for eight consecutive weeks by a nationally certified speech-language pathologist. Response to training is determined using multiple outcome measures in Spanish and English, as well as on select cognitive processing measures. These measures will be administered prior to and immediately following training as well as three months after the completion of training. Results from this project will provide unique insight into cross-language transfer in bilingual children and advance understanding of the general PLI profile with respect to relationships between basic cognitive processing and higher level language skills. Study findings will also directly contribute to the development of more effective treatment methods for linguistically diverse children with PLI.

Public Health Relevance

This exploratory project investigates the effectiveness of three different training conditions on language outcomes in bilingual school-age children with """"""""specific"""""""" or primary language impairment (PLI). Study findings will directly contribute to the development of more effective treatment methods for linguistically diverse children with PLI.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21DC010868-02
Application #
8020996
Study Section
Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
Program Officer
Cooper, Judith
Project Start
2010-03-01
Project End
2013-02-28
Budget Start
2011-03-01
Budget End
2013-02-28
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$162,195
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
555917996
City
Minneapolis
State
MN
Country
United States
Zip Code
55455
Pham, Giang; Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Kohnert, Kathryn (2015) Bilingual children with primary language impairment: 3 months after treatment. Int J Lang Commun Disord 50:94-105
Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Kohnert, Kathryn; Pham, Giang et al. (2014) Three treatments for bilingual children with primary language impairment: examining cross-linguistic and cross-domain effects. J Speech Lang Hear Res 57:172-86
Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Pham, Giang; Kohnert, Kathryn (2014) Lexical profiles of bilingual children with primary language impairment. Biling (Camb Engl) 17:766-783
Ebert, Kerry Danahy (2014) Role of auditory non-verbal working memory in sentence repetition for bilingual children with primary language impairment. Int J Lang Commun Disord 49:631-6
Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Rentmeester-Disher, Jill; Kohnert, Kathryn (2012) Nonlinguistic cognitive treatment for bilingual children with primary language impairment. Clin Linguist Phon 26:485-501
Kelley, Alaina; Kohnert, Kathryn (2012) Is there a cognate advantage for typically developing Spanish-speaking English-language learners? Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 43:191-204
Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Kohnert, Kathryn (2011) Sustained attention in children with primary language impairment: a meta-analysis. J Speech Lang Hear Res 54:1372-84
Pham, Giang; Kohnert, Kathryn; Mann, Deanine (2011) Addressing clinician-client mismatch: a preliminary intervention study with a bilingual Vietnamese-English preschooler. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 42:408-22
Kohnert, Kathryn (2010) Bilingual children with primary language impairment: issues, evidence and implications for clinical actions. J Commun Disord 43:456-73