Speech and Language Outcomes in Low-SES Spanish-English Bilingual Preschoolers: The Role of Maternal Education
This paper presents a longitudinal examination of Spanish and English phonological, lexical, and morpho-syntactic abilities in 20 low-SES bilingual preschoolers with mothers who had either completed primary or secondary education in Spanish in their country of origin, Mexico. We focused on the link between maternal education and the following spontaneous production measures: 1) phonological accuracy as measured by Percent of Consonants Correct-Revised, 2) lexical variety as measured by Number of Different Words, and 3) utterance length as measured by Mean Length of Utterance in words; the relation between maternal education and spontaneous production was examined both a) at preschool entry, when children were on average 3;6 and dominant in Spanish, and b) a year later, after one year of exposure to the majority language (English) and culture. The results showed that although children of more educated mothers performed significantly better on all English measures than children of less educated mothers, maternal education was not related to Spanish outcomes. The same differences persisted a year later. These results suggest that maternal education may play a different, but long-lasting role in English compared to Spanish development possibly due to language input differences attributable to distinct cultural values and practices associated with different languages.
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Montanari, S., Mayr, R., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2020). Speech and Language Outcomes in Low-SES Spanish-English Bilingual Preschoolers: The Role of Maternal Education.