The estimated risk for language impairment (LI) in monolingual English speaking children is about 7%. A model for identifying language impairment, referred to as the EpiSLI system (Tomblin, Records, & Zhang, 1996), yields relatively high levels of specificity and sensitivity for identification of LI in kindergarten children from monolingual English speaking backgrounds. Systematic study is needed to determine a) the extent to which level of proficiency in English is related to risk for misidentification of language impairment, b) if the EpiSLI criteria can be applied to a new bilingual language test, c) to what extent testing (using a variety of assessment tasks) in English and the native language can be used to identify language impairment, and d) potential differences in the way bilingual learner's (language impaired vs. typical) performance on language measures changes with increased exposure to English. Due to the shortage of bilingual clinicians and the diversity of languages spoken in the US it would be helpful to determine the circumstances in which standardized testing, language learning measures, and/or processing measures administered in English can be used to reliably identify language impairment in bilingual children. We have planned a three phase study to address these issues. In phase 1,1500 Latino children will participate in language screening to determine the levels of risk across the bilingual population. In phase 2, a comparison of performance on standardized measures in Spanish and English will be administered to the at risk bilingual children identified in phase 1 to determine if the Epi SLI cut off values hold for bilinguals. Further, processing and learning measures will be administered in English, to explore the extent to which such measures accurately predict language impairment at various levels of English proficiency. In phase 3, children will participate in follow up testing evaluating language growth. Assessment of the persistence of language impairment across a 1-year period will help determine whether increase in English language skills affects classification accuracy of language impairment when measures are utilized in English. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
Program Officer
Cooper, Judith
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Texas Austin
Other Health Professions
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
Zip Code
Gibson, Todd A; Peña, Elizabeth D; Bedore, Lisa M (2018) The Receptive-Expressive Gap in English Narratives of Spanish-English Bilingual Children With and Without Language Impairment. J Speech Lang Hear Res 61:1381-1392
Baron, Alisa; Bedore, Lisa M; Peña, Elizabeth D et al. (2018) Production of Spanish Grammatical Forms in U.S. Bilingual Children. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 27:975-987
Bedore, Lisa M; Peña, Elizabeth D; Anaya, Jissel B et al. (2018) Understanding Disorder Within Variation: Production of English Grammatical Forms by English Language Learners. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 49:277-291
Shivabasappa, Prarthana; Peña, Elizabeth D; Bedore, Lisa M (2017) Typicality Effect and Category Structure in Spanish-English Bilingual Children and Adults. J Speech Lang Hear Res 60:1577-1589
Byrd, Courtney T; Bedore, Lisa M; Ramos, Daniel (2015) The disfluent speech of bilingual spanish-english children: considerations for differential diagnosis of stuttering. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 46:30-43
Petersen, Douglas B; Gillam, Ronald B (2015) Predicting reading ability for bilingual Latino children using dynamic assessment. J Learn Disabil 48:3-21
Lugo-Neris, Mirza J; Peña, Elizabeth D; Bedore, Lisa M et al. (2015) Utility of a Language Screening Measure for Predicting Risk for Language Impairment in Bilinguals. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 24:426-37
Peña, Elizabeth D; Gillam, Ronald B; Bedore, Lisa M (2014) Dynamic assessment of narrative ability in English accurately identifies language impairment in English language learners. J Speech Lang Hear Res 57:2208-20
Gibson, Todd A; Peña, Elizabeth D; Bedore, Lisa M (2014) The receptive-expressive gap in bilingual children with and without primary language impairment. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 23:655-67
Squires, Katie E; Lugo-Neris, Mirza J; Peña, Elizabeth D et al. (2014) Story retelling by bilingual children with language impairments and typically developing controls. Int J Lang Commun Disord 49:60-74

Showing the most recent 10 out of 22 publications