Acquisition of Second Language Vocabulary for Kindergartners with Speech Sound Disorders

Tracy Lynn Zapf

Abstract


Researchers and educators alike have raised concerns over the potential exclusion of children with speech and language disorders in immersion programs. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine whether children with speech sound disorders acquire Spanish vocabulary at a rate comparable to typical peers when learning in an immersion program, and if rates of acquisition differ for expressive versus receptive vocabulary. Five kindergartners attending a partial, early elementary immersion school were studied: one control participant and four participants with speech sound disorders. This investigation used expressive (spoken) and receptive (understood) vocabulary probes to test the number of Spanish vocabulary words children could produce and comprehend within an eight-week period. Results show that children with speech sound disorders acquire expressive Spanish vocabulary at a rate comparable to their typical peers but had lower levels of acquisition overall, while rates of receptive vocabulary acquisition varied across participants. The results of this pilot study, which are not yet comprehensive, suggest that children with speech sound disorders are able to acquire Spanish vocabulary and, as a result, should continue to be included in immersion programs in the future.

Keywords


Speech Sound Disorders; Communication Disorders; Immersion School; Second Language Acquisition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5399/uo/ourj.1.1.1501

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