Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award

2018

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

College

College of Education & Allied Health

Department

Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Carmen Russell

Second Advisor

Laura O'Hara

Third Advisor

Richard Lewis

Keywords

monolingual, diverse, writing, language, children, learning, discourse

Abstract

Diversity in the United States is increasing, thus increasing the need for information about the language learning development of both typical and atypical learners. The development of second language learning is extremely complex, with both external factors and internal factors influencing the rate and quality of that learning. The pattern of sequential second language learning is uneven across domains, with some language skills, such as narrative structure, reaching age-level norms faster than more language-specific structures, such as syntax and morphosyntax. The presence of language disorder complicates this further. Additional difficulty learning the advanced syntax needed for upper-level academic writing tasks, in which syntax is one of the primary tools for the organization and presentation of thought, presents a major hurdle for academic achievement. This study focuses on measures of syntactic correctness, complexity, and length in the writing of monolingual and multilingual students, both with and without specific language impairment. Twenty-eight high school students (21 monolingual, 2 with language impairment; and 7 multilingual. 1 with diagnosed language impairment) contributed writing samples and survey data on linguistic background and comfort with writing. Group-level differences in syntactic and comfort measures were analyzed based on mono- or multilingual background and the presence of a diagnosed language impairment. Group-level differences were found between those with language impairment and those with no diagnosis on measures of syntactic accuracy, and between mono- and multilingual speakers on measures of comfort; additionally, monolingual speakers with a diagnosis of specific language impairment differed significantly on measures of comfort from those without a diagnosis.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Restricted

Available to Fontbonne users only. Please log in with your id + password.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to make it openly accessible to all, please click the button above.

Share

COinS
 

Rights Statement

In Copyright