Language Maintenance and Loss in Preschool-Age Children of Mexican Immigrants: Longitudinal Study

By Guiberson, Mark M.; Barrett, Karen C. et al. | Communication Disorders Quarterly, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Language Maintenance and Loss in Preschool-Age Children of Mexican Immigrants: Longitudinal Study


Guiberson, Mark M., Barrett, Karen C., Jancosek, Elizabeth G., Itano, Christine Yoshinaga, Communication Disorders Quarterly


In this study, the authors plotted the Spanish language usage of 10 preschool-age children over the course of 3 years and assigned them to one of two groups: language maintenance and language loss. The authors then compared the groups' scores on structured tasks, language behaviors, and language usage/exposure variables. They found that children in the language loss group presented with more grammatical errors, whereas the language maintenance group performed better on Spanish vocabulary and language tasks. No specific variable was predictive of maintenance or loss, but the children from the language loss group began to use more English with family members or peers.

The number of preschool-age children from linguistically diverse backgrounds has drastically increased in the United States over the past decade. Enrollment of linguistically diverse children in Head Start, for example, rose from approximately 21% in 1993 to approximately 24% in 1999, with the largest growth rate seen in Spanishspeaking households, increasing from 17.5% to more than 20% (Administration for Children and Families, 2000). Currently, more than 2 million preschool-age children of Hispanic/Latino descent reside in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). Because of this demographic trend, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) need to be informed about bilingual language development in young children. This issue is quite complex, however, because linguistic differences may mask, mimic, or be confused for symptoms or characteristics of a specific disorder (Anderson, 2004; Schiff-Myers, 1992; Wong Fillmore, 1991). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2004) recognizes this difficulty and has provided guidelines stating that to provide ethical and appropriate services, professionals must possess knowledge about and be responsive to culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Unfortunately, most SLPs are not prepared to work with linguistically diverse children (Hammer, Detwiler, Detwiler, Blood, & Qualls, 2004; Kohnert, Kennedy, Glaze, Kan, & Carney, 2003; Papoutsis Kritikos, 2003; Roseberry-McKibbin, Brice, & O'Hanlon, 2005). In numerous surveys, SLPs have reported a lack of confidence or efficacy in assessing and treating children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Many of these surveys indicate that the causes probably include a lack of appropriate training and insufficient knowledge of cultural and linguistic differences.

Perhaps what makes assessing and working with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds perplexing to many SLPs is the fact that these children present with a wide range of language proficiencies that are dynamic and that change over time (Genesee, Paradis, & Crago, 2004; Silva-Corvalan, 1991; Valdes & Figueroa, 1994). Understanding language development in these populations requires knowledge of both development in other languages and bilingual acquisition. Simultaneous acquisition occurs when a child is exposed to both languages simultaneously from birth or a very early age; sequential acquisition occurs when a child becomes exposed to and begins to learn the second language (L2) after developing his or her primary language (L1; Arnberg, 1987; Tabors, 1997). This distinction between sequential and simultaneous acquisition is important because each type of bilingualism results in slightly different developmental patterns (Arnberg, 1987; Cook, 1997; Harley & Wang, 1997; Tabors, 1997). For example, simultaneous bilingual children may present with language skills that are comparable across languages, whereas sequential bilingual children will proceed through a series of predictable stages (for reviews, see Genesee etal., 2004; Krashen, 1982; Tabors, 1997). At the same time, educators need to understand the effects of other important variables, including time of L2 exposure and context and quality of exposure to L1 and L2 (Patterson & Pearson, 2004). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Language Maintenance and Loss in Preschool-Age Children of Mexican Immigrants: Longitudinal Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.