Aims - BIU

Aims - BIU

Language Proficiency and Executive Control in Bilingual Children with TLD and with SLI Peri Iluz-Cohen Bar Ilan University Ramat-Gan, Israel Definitions Language Proficiency (LP) The bilinguals linguistic competence determined by standardized measurements, e.g., Goralnik (1995) for LP in Hebrew and the CELF2 preschool (2004) for LP in English. Executive Control (EC) A measurement of the ability to perform on cognitive executive functions (EFs) such as inhibition, sorting and shifting (e.g., Baddeley, 1996) which are believed to consist of related, but distinct abilities that direct, organize, and mediate problem solving action (Miyake et al., 2000), and which take place in the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, BA 9/46), the anterior cingulated cortex (ACC), and the supplementary motor area (SMA). Inhibition The ability to deliberately ignore and filter distracting responses or thoughts, and distracting irrelevant information held in working Memory (e.g., Baddeley, 1996; Baddeley et al., 1998). Shifting (mental flexibility)

The ability to switch attention back and forth between mental sets (e.g., Baddeley, 1996). Sorting (concept generation) The ability to abstract information from non-identical items (Smidts et al., 2004). Research Question Is the relationship between LP and EC, observed among monolinguals (e.g., Kohnert & Windsor 2004; Bishop &Norbury, 2005; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005; Im-Bolter et al., 2006), evident among bilingual children as well? Hypothesis The higher the LP of a bilingual child is in one or both languages, the better the bilingual will perform on tasks which involve generic executive functions (GEFs; Bialystok, 2001; Kohnert & Windsor 2004; Bishop &Norbury, 2005; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) . Participants 39 bilingual English-Hebrew speaking children (ages 4;3 - 7;1; 18 boys & 21 girls) from regular and language preschools.

Baseline Language Measures Two standardized measurements [Goralnik (1995) for LP in Hebrew and the CELF-2 preschool (2004) for LP in English] yielded 4 sub-groups in terms of LP: 1. 2. 3. 4. BTD: scored within the norm in both English & Hebrew (N=14). L2TD: scored within the norm only in L2 Hebrew (N=8). L1TD: scored within the norm only in L1 English (N=12). BISLI: scored below the norm in both English & Hebrew (N=5). Two ways of comparison among the 4 sub-groups (high to low level of LP): 1. BITLD (N=34)> BISLI (Hakansson et al., 2003). 2. BTD > L2TD > L1TD > BISLI (Walters, 1979). Tasks Cognitive executive control Inhibition The Embedded Figures Task (based on Piaget & Inhelder, 1966; Pascual-Leone, 1989; De-Avila & Ducan,

1980). Ten pictures were presented, each including an embedded mouse, which the child was asked to spot as fast as possible. Degree of inhibition ability: the number of correct answers, ranging from 0 to 10. Where is the mouse? Concept Generation & Shifting The Classification Task (based on Ben-Zeev, 1977;Smidts et al., 2004; Jacobs et al., 2001) 18 cards were presented: 3 different shapes (circle, triangle, square) 3 different patterns (no color, partial-color, full-color).

1 vs. 3 items of each shape. Procedure & Analysis of the Classification Task Classify the cards (concept generation), and reclassify them in a different way (first shift), and in a third way (second shift). Scoring for each classification: Immediate success: 3 First clue: 2 Second clue: 1 No success: 0 Degree of shifting ability: average degree of success in the three classifications ranging from 0 to 3. Additionally: Analysis per classification. Analysis of independent classification. Findings: BITLD > BISLI Performance of BL TD & BISLI Children on Inhibition and Shifting P<0.06 0.50 0.09 * 0.13 P<0.03 mean z-score 0.00 BITLD -0.50 -0.73 -0.86 -1.00 BISLI -1.50 Inhibition Shifting Shifting: Analysis per Classification Concept Generation Classification 1 First Shift Second Shift Classification 2 Classification 2 Mean Z-score per Classification - BITLD vs. BISLI children 0.4 0.2 0.18 P<0.003 0.06 ** mean z-score 0 0.11 P<0.07 -0.2 -0.4

-0.6 -0.49 -0.61 -0.8 -1 -0.94 BITLD BISLI The Ability to Perform on the Classification Task Independently NUM BER OF PARTICIPANTS 40 35 30 25 32.4% 20 64.7% 15

79.4% 67.6% 10 35.3% 5 80% 100% 20% 0 BITLD (N=34) BISLI (N=5) CLASSIFICATION 1 BITLD (N=34) BISLI (N=5) CLASSIFICATION 2 SUCCESS

NO SUCCESS 20.6% 100% BITLD (N=34) BISLI (N=5) CLASSIFICATION 3 BTD > L2 TD > L1 TD > BISLI: Inhibition Inhibition 1 0.8 0.6 average z-score 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 BTD

L1TD L2TD -0.8 -1 BISLI BTD > L2 TD > L1 TD > BISLI: Shifting Shifting ** P<0.005 ** P<0.008 1 0.8 0.6 * average z-score 0.4 ** P<0.02 P<0.004 0.2 0 -0.2 BTD L2TD -0.4 -0.6 L1TD -0.8 -1 BISLI Shifting: Analysis per Classification Mean Z-score per Classification mean z-score Concept Generation 0.8

0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1 -1.2 Classification 1 First Shift Classification 2 Second Shift Classification 2 * P<0.04 ** P<0.003 * P<0.04 ** P<0.005 **P<0.004 BTD L2TD L1TD BISLI *** P<0.0003 ** P<0.01 The Ability to Perform on the Classification Task Independently 20% 0 BTD (N=14) L2TD (N=8) L1TD (N=12) CLASSIFICATION 1 BISLI (N=5)

BTD (N=14) L1TD (N=12) 100% 100% 42.8% 100% 12.5% BISLI (N=5) CLASSIFICATION 2 SUCCESS 87.5% 57.2% L2TD (N=8)

75% 62.5% 37.5% 42.8% 80% 2 87.5% 4 12.5% 25% 8 6 57.2% 50% 10

50% 12 28.6% 14 71.4% NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS 16 NO SUCCESS BTD (N=14) L2TD (N=8) L1TD (N=12) CLASSIFICATION 3 BISLI (N=5)

Positive relationship between LP and performance on the classification task the more proficient a bilingual child is in both languages the more advanced stages of the task the bilingual child can perform independently Inhibition & shifting Performance on Inhibition and shifting * 0.5 0.6 0.38 0.4 mean z-score 0.2 P<0.04 0.33 0.12 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 BTD -0.29 L2TD -0.47 L1TD -0.8 -0.73 -0.86 -1 Inhibition Shifting BISLI Summary & Conclusions

Positive relationship between LP and sorting & shifting: Lower performance in sorting and shifting abilities among bilingual children with SLI who have lower proficiency in both languages, and among L1 dominant bilingual children. The advantage observed among TD monolinguals compared to monolinguals with SLI in terms of inhibition is not evident among bilingual children. This suggests that bilingualism may contribute to narrowing the gap in terms of inhibition, between BL TD children and BL children with SLI. Bilingual children who are better at shifting are those who find it easier to master the second language. Attrition is not necessarily related to cognitive abilities, but rather to sociolinguistic factors. THANK YOU

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