CRBLM research spotlight: Andrea MacLeod
Title: Early language development among bilingual minority language speakers
A core debate at the centre of the study of language acquisition has been whether this acquisition is driven by universal features of human language or by the language-specific characteristics of the language being acquired.Clinically, the universality or language-specific nature of language acquisition influences how milestones are used by speech-language pathologists, pediatricians, nurses, and early educators to identify communication disorders and access to early intervention.
Through my research on bilingual language development, I aim to propose an inclusive model of language development and disorders that can account for development in both monolingual and multilingual contexts. To this end, the objectives of this axis are to understand how top-down factors specific to the bilingual experience set the timing of language development and how bottom-up factors specific to the two languages set the sequence of development. Top-down factors specific to the bilingual experience include the age of second language learning, the amount of exposure to and use of the child’s languages, and the community support for the child’s languages. The bottom-up factors specific to the two languages being learned are linked to the specific features of the language. The presentation will focus research I have conducted in bilingual and minority language communities in Canada, in particular among preschool aged children.
When: April 19, 2018, 10:00am
Where: Rabinovitch House, 3640 de la Montagne