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Article

Contribution of Nonverbal Cognitive Skills on Bilingual Children’s Grammatical Performance: Influence of Exposure, Task Type, and Language of Assessment

1
School of Education, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
Speech Pathology and Audiology Program, School of Health Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
3
Department of Communications Sciences & Disorders, College of Arts & Sciences, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
4
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2020 / Revised: 1 February 2021 / Accepted: 7 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
This study explores the contribution of nonverbal working memory and processing speed on bilingual children’s morphosyntactic knowledge, after controlling for language exposure. Participants include 307 Spanish–English bilinguals in Kindergarten, second, and fourth grade (mean age = 7;8, SD = 18 months). Morphosyntactic knowledge in English and Spanish was measured using two separate language tasks: a cloze task and a narrative language task. In a series of four hierarchical linear regressions predicting cloze and narrative performance in English and Spanish, we evaluate the proportion of variance explained after adding (a) English exposure, (b) processing speed and working memory, and (c) interaction terms to the model. The results reveal the differential contribution of nonverbal cognitive skills across English and Spanish. Cognition was not significantly related to performance on either grammatical cloze or narrative tasks in Spanish. Narrative tasks in English were significantly predicted by processing speed, after controlling for age and exposure. Grammatical cloze tasks in English posed an additional cognitive demand on working memory. The findings suggest that cognitive demands vary for bilinguals based on the language of assessment and the task. View Full-Text
Keywords: morphosyntax; nonverbal cognition; bilinguals; processing speed; working memory morphosyntax; nonverbal cognition; bilinguals; processing speed; working memory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wood, T.; Pratt, A.S.; Durant, K.; McMillen, S.; Peña, E.D.; Bedore, L.M. Contribution of Nonverbal Cognitive Skills on Bilingual Children’s Grammatical Performance: Influence of Exposure, Task Type, and Language of Assessment. Languages 2021, 6, 36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010036

AMA Style

Wood T, Pratt AS, Durant K, McMillen S, Peña ED, Bedore LM. Contribution of Nonverbal Cognitive Skills on Bilingual Children’s Grammatical Performance: Influence of Exposure, Task Type, and Language of Assessment. Languages. 2021; 6(1):36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010036

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wood, Taffeta, Amy S. Pratt, Kathleen Durant, Stephanie McMillen, Elizabeth D. Peña, and Lisa M. Bedore 2021. "Contribution of Nonverbal Cognitive Skills on Bilingual Children’s Grammatical Performance: Influence of Exposure, Task Type, and Language of Assessment" Languages 6, no. 1: 36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010036

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