Chapter published in:Language Impairment in Multilingual Settings: LITMUS in action across Europe
Edited by Sharon Armon-Lotem and Kleanthes K. Grohmann
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 29] 2021
► pp. 132–165
Language performance of sequential bilinguals on an Irish and English sentence repetition task
Currently there are no standardized language assessments for English-Irish bilingual school age children that would test languages in a comparable way. There are also no standardized language assessments of Irish for this age group. The current study aimed to design comparable language assessments in both languages targeting structures known to be challenging for children with language impairments. A sentence repetition (SRep) task equivalent to the English SRep task (Marinis, Chiat, Armon-Lotem, Piper, & Roy, 2011) was designed for Irish. Twenty-four typically developing, sequential bilingual children immersed in Irish in the educational setting performed better on the English SRep task than on the Irish SRep task. Different patterns were observed in language performance across sentence types with performance on relative clauses being particularly poor in Irish. Similarly, differences were observed in error patterns with the highest number of errors of omission in Irish, and the highest number of substitution errors in English.
Keywords: Irish, bilingualism, sentence repetition, sequential bilingualism, minority language
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