Picture-based vocabulary assessment versus parental questionnaires: A cross-linguistic study of bilingual assessment methods

Hansen, P, Luniewska, M, Simonsen, H, Haman, E, Mieszkowska, K, Kolak, J ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2689-7103 and Wodniecka, Z 2017, 'Picture-based vocabulary assessment versus parental questionnaires: A cross-linguistic study of bilingual assessment methods' , International Journal of Bilingualism, 23 (2) , pp. 437-456.

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Abstract Purpose: As a contribution to the endeavour of developing appropriate tools for bilingual language assessment, this paper investigates the concurrence between two new tools from the recent COST Action IS0804 (Bi-SLI), and the differences between children across two different migrant communities. Approach: Two new tools from the battery Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings (LITMUS) were used: the direct assessment tool Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (CLT) and the reporting instrument Parents of Bilingual Children Questionnaire (PaBiQ), which offers an indirect measure of overall language skills. Data: The participants were 36 children (4;2–6;6) of Polish immigrants to Norway or the UK. Correlations were investigated with Kendall’s rank correlation, and comparisons carried out with Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Findings: The results from the two tools correlated. The CLT results were higher in the minority language (Polish) than in the majority language, with no difference between the groups. Still, the parents in the UK judged their children as less proficient in Polish than those in Norway did. Two different accounts for this incongruity are discussed. Firstly, parents in the UK may set higher benchmarks for their children’s minority language skills than the parents in Norway. Alternative accounts of this interpretation related to differences in the parents’ socio-economic background, minority language proficiency or language attitudes are discussed. Secondly, parental report may indicate early stages of attrition of the minority language among the children in the UK that the direct lexical assessment tool may not be sensitive enough to uncover. Originality: The study used two new tools designed for multilingual children to compare two groups of children of a recent and growing immigration group, whose language development is currently underinvestigated. Implications: The findings underscore the complexity of assessing bilingual children’s full language competence. The cross-cultural differences documented call for further longitudinal research comparing immigrant children from different language backgrounds.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Bilingualism
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1367-0069
Depositing User: J Kolak
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2022 11:51
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2022 11:51
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/63981

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