Matching Items (3)

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How Language Is Embodied in Bilinguals and Children with Specific Language Impairment

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This manuscript explores the role of embodied views of language comprehension and production in bilingualism and specific language impairment. Reconceptualizing popular models of bilingual language processing, the embodied theory is

This manuscript explores the role of embodied views of language comprehension and production in bilingualism and specific language impairment. Reconceptualizing popular models of bilingual language processing, the embodied theory is first extended to this area. Issues such as semantic grounding in a second language and potential differences between early and late acquisition of a second language are discussed. Predictions are made about how this theory informs novel ways of thinking about teaching a second language. Secondly, the comorbidity of speech, language, and motor impairments and how embodiment theory informs the discussion of the etiology of these impairments is examined. A hypothesis is presented suggesting that what is often referred to as specific language impairment may not be so specific due to widespread subclinical motor deficits in this population. Predictions are made about how weaknesses and instabilities in speech motor control, even at a subclinical level, may disrupt the neural network that connects acoustic input, articulatory motor plans, and semantics. Finally, I make predictions about how this information informs clinical practice for professionals such as speech language pathologists and occupational and physical therapists. These new hypotheses are placed within the larger framework of the body of work pertaining to semantic grounding, action-based language acquisition, and action-perception links that underlie language learning and conceptual grounding.

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  • 2016-08-17

Learning and processing of nonverbal symbolic information in bilinguals and monolinguals

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Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals on word learning and on inhibition tasks that require competition resolution. Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified. We compared bilinguals

Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals on word learning and on inhibition tasks that require competition resolution. Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified. We compared bilinguals and monolinguals on nonverbal symbolic learning and on competition resolution while processing newly-learned material. Participants were trained on 12 tone-to-symbol mappings, combining timbre, pitch, and duration of tones. During subsequent processing, participants viewed a display with four symbols, and were instructed to identify the symbol that matched a simultaneously-presented tone. On competition trials, two symbols matched the tone in timbre and pitch, but only one matched the tone on timbre, pitch, and duration. No learning differences emerged between 27 Spanish-English bilinguals and 27 English monolinguals, and more successful learners performed better on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary task. During the processing task, competition trials yielded responses with lower accuracies and longer latencies than control trials. Further, in both groups, more successful learning of tone-to-symbol mappings was associated with more successful retrieval during processing. In monolinguals, English receptive vocabulary scores also influenced retrieval efficiency during processing, with English/Spanish vocabulary less related to the novel processing task in bilinguals. Finally, to examine inhibition of competing stimuli, priming probes were presented after each tone-symbol processing trial. These probes suggested that bilinguals, and to a lesser extent monolinguals, showed residual inhibition of competitors at 200 ms post-target identification. Together, findings suggest that learning of novel symbolic information may depend in part on previous linguistic knowledge (not bilingualism per se), and that, during processing of newly-learned material, subtle differences in retrieval and competition resolution may emerge between bilinguals and monolinguals.

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Date Created
  • 2014-10-16

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Predictors of performance on an iPad-based reading comprehension intervention among Spanish-speaking dual language learners at risk for reading comprehension delays

Description

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the EMBRACE Spanish support intervention for at-risk dual language learners and to determine which verbal and nonverbal characteristics

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the EMBRACE Spanish support intervention for at-risk dual language learners and to determine which verbal and nonverbal characteristics of students were related to benefit from the intervention. The first study examined oral language and reading characteristics and the second study examined motor characteristics in predicting the children's outcomes on a reading comprehension intervention.

Method: Fifty-six participants in 2nd-5th grade were randomly assigned to one of two groups: 1) Spanish-support intervention, or 2) Spanish-support control. Outcome measures included performance on comprehension questions related to intervention texts, questions on the final narrative and expository text without strategy instruction, and difference scores on alternate forms of the Gates-MacGinitie (GMRT-4, MacGinitie, MacGinitie, Maria, & Dreyer, 2002) reading comprehension subtest administered pre- post-intervention. Multi-level hierarchical linear models were used to account for nesting of question within child within classroom. Regression models were used to examine the power of motor predictors in predicting Spanish and English language performance.

Results: Results from study 1 indicated that the intervention was most effective for narrative (vs. expository) texts and easy (vs. more difficult) texts. Dual language learners (DLLs) with lower initial English reading comprehension abilities benefitted more from the intervention than those with stronger reading skills. Results from Study 2 indicated that oral fine motor abilities predicted Spanish (but not English) oral language abilities in the expected direction (i.e. faster performance associated with higher language scores). The speed of /pata/ productions predicted reading comprehension during the intervention, but not in the expected direction (i.e. slower speeds associated with higher accuracy). Manual fine motor performance on tapping tasks was not related to language or reading.

Conclusions: The EMBRACE intervention has promise for use with at-risk DLLs. Future research should take care to match text difficulty with child skills so as to maximize benefit from the intervention. Oral fine motor abilities were related to language abilities in DLLs, but only for the native language. Slower oral fine motor performance predicted higher accuracy on intervention questions, suggesting that EMBRACE may be particularly effective for children with weak fine motor skills.

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Date Created
  • 2017