Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Down Syndrome: Insights From a Case Study

Journal article


Burgoyne, Kelly, Duff, Fiona J., Nielsen, Dea, Ulicheva, Anastasia and Snowling, Margaret J. 2016. Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Down Syndrome: Insights From a Case Study. Language Learning. 66 (4), pp. 945 - 971. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12179
AuthorsBurgoyne, Kelly, Duff, Fiona J., Nielsen, Dea, Ulicheva, Anastasia and Snowling, Margaret J.
Abstract

We present the case study of MB—a bilingual child with Down syndrome (DS) whospeaks Russian (first language [L1]) and English (second language [L2]) and has learnedto read in two different alphabets with different symbol systems. We demonstratethat, in terms of oral language, MB is as proficient in Russian as English, with amild advantage for reading in English, her language of formal instruction. MB’s L1abilities were compared with those of 11 Russian-speaking typically developing mono-linguals and her L2 abilities to those of 15 English-speaking typically developing mono-linguals and six monolingual English-speaking children with DS; each group achievingthe same level of word reading ability as MB. We conclude that learning two languages in the presence of a learning difficulty need have no detrimental effect on either a child’slanguage or literacy development.

KeywordsDown syndrome; bilingualism; biliteracy; case study
Year2016
JournalLanguage Learning
Journal citation66 (4), pp. 945 - 971
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN0023-8333
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12179
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84973377093
Page range945 - 971
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8q7z7/bilingualism-and-biliteracy-in-down-syndrome-insights-from-a-case-study

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