COMMUNICATIVE IMPAIRMENT

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In this article, researchers focus on disentangling the effects of bilingualism and dyslexia in tasks assessing phonological abilities of monolingual and bilingual, impaired/non-impaired children regarding morphological abilities, grammatical abilities and implicit learning. Results suggest that bilingualism, far from being a disadvantage, can offer linguistic and cognitive benefits that extend also to impaired children. Building on these results, researchers indicate some best practices and recommendations for parents, educators and health professionals that deal with children suffering from specific communicative impairments.

Recommendations for multilingualism and developmental communicative disorders

AThEME has published a second European Policy Brief , this time on multilingualism and communicative impairment.

Based on AThEME research findings dealing with communicative impairment, this document is intended to present policy-relevant findings to (European) decision-makers as well as offer them research-based policy recommendations.

Published on the European Commission website showcasing Social Sciences & Humanities research:

MULTILINGUALISM AND COMMUNICATIVE IMPAIRMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY

This report was jointly written by AThEME researchers from the University of Verona and the University of Reading. In it, researchers provide a review of the remediation therapies that can be used in the rehabilitation of Developmental Dyslexia (DD), emphasising morphological instruction as a promising strategy for compensating the phonological deficits exhibited by both monolingual and bilingual dyslexic children. After briefly discussing DD (its manifestations, relationship with other developmental disorders such as Specific Language Impairment (SLI)), research conducted within the context of AThEME is presented. Based on these results, researchers propose that morphological training could be a viable and effective strategy for the treatment of reading difficulties in both monolingual and bilingual children.

Report on design of new teaching methods and remediation tools for dyslexia

This study, developed by the University of Verona (Italy), in collaboration with the University of Trento (Italy) and the Xiamen University (China), sheds light on the relationship between bilingualism and developmental dyslexia by comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children, with and without a diagnosis of dyslexia, in a task set up to assess metalinguistic and morphological awareness.

Preliminary findings suggest that a bilingual advantage extends to children with dyslexia. This is an exciting and important finding for all the educators, speech therapists and teachers who think that bilingualism may have a negative influence on dyslexia and therefore may tend to provide families of dyslexic children with negative advice when it comes to bilingualism. The results of this study show that in many cases bilingualism can even act as a positive, protective factor on dyslexia, especially in enhancing the subjects’ metalinguistic and morphological awareness.

Published in:

  • Maria Vender, Shenai Hu, Federica Mantione, Silvia Savazzi, Denis Delfitto & Chiara Melloni (2018). Inflectional morphology: evidence for an advantage of bilingualism in dyslexia, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2018.1450355.

Residents of nursing homes often find it difficult to develop (new) social relationships with other residents, even though these social relationships can contribute to quality of life, life meaning and satisfaction and feelings of belonging. Until now, little research has been done on the role language practices can play in encouraging residents to develop and maintain these social networks.

For this particular study, researchers from the The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) spent time collecting data at a relatively large nursing home in Maastricht in the Netherlands. By observing participants and conducting informal interviews, they explored the development of social networks among residents during different settings in the common area of the nursing home.

The results of this study show that language is an important factor for nursing home residents to be able to develop a social network. Due to the associations people make with linguistic features, residents prefer to develop a social network with those who are perceived to speak the same language or dialect.