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Patterns of Vocabulary Acquisition in Spanish-English Bilingual Children with SLI

Eliane Ramos1, Cecelia Bruns2, Isabella Cabal-Gonzalez3, Gabriela Olivos4, Celina Rodriguez Valdivia5

 DOI :

 Author's Affiliations

1,2,3,4,5 Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA 



The parents of 10 bilingual preschoolers with SLI completed vocabulary inventories in Spanish and English detailing their children’s productive vocabulary in each language. Inventories were examined to determine the children’s total number of words in both languages combined, also called Total Vocabulary (TV) as well as total number of words for different concepts, also called Conceptual Vocabulary (CV). The total number of Translation Equivalents (TE) and the number of cognate TEs were also determined. Results indicated that bilingual children with SLI had fewer TEs and fewer cognate TEs than what is expected of typically developing bilingual children. Such difference indicates that the bilingual children with SLI did not take advantage of the facilitative effect of cognate TEs in vocabulary acquisition. Implications for vocabulary intervention for bilingual children with SLI are discussed.