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The interface between bilingual development and specific language impairment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2010

JOHANNE PARADIS*
Affiliation:
University of Alberta
*
Johanne Paradis, Department of Linguistics, 4-46 Assinboia Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E7, Canada. E-mail: johanne.paradis@ualberta.ca

Abstract

Research at the interface of bilingual development and child language disorders has increased greatly in the past decade. The purpose of this article is to highlight the theoretical and clinical implications of this research. Studies examining the similarities in linguistic characteristics between typically developing sequential bilingual children and monolingual children with specific language impairment (SLI) the same age are reviewed in light of predictions from a maturational model of SLI. Studies examining the linguistic characteristics of bilingual children with SLI compared to monolinguals with SLI and their bilingual peers with typical development are reviewed in light of predictions of limited processing capacity theories of SLI. It is shown that data from bilingual children pose interesting challenges to both theoretical perspectives, although in different ways. Finally, the findings from this research are discussed in terms of their relevance for assessment of SLI in bilingual children.

Type
Keynote Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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