The Bilingual Language Laboratory (BLL)

PROJECTS


projects

The BLL is mostly involved in research intended to augment the emerging knowledge base on dual language learners and to bridge the gap between empirical, clinical research and clinical practice.


Current BLL Studies


Longitudinal Study of English Learners: Language and Self-Regulation:
A longitudinal study of the Spanish and English skills of students attending a laboratory school in Dallas that targets low-income families and has a predominantly (95%) Hispanic population. This school is an English immersion school with Spanish support during the pre-kindergarten years. The BLL collects narrative retell language samples from each child in English and Spanish (one sample in each language per semester) to track the development of each language. The BLL also collects home language surveys and administers bilingual language clinical screenings once per year. Collaborating with Dr. Margaret Owen’s lab, we are also assessing the executive function skills of the children in both English and Spanish over time. The first time point of this project was Fall 2013. This project is supported in part by a BBS Faculty Research Initiative Grant.

Tracking the Early Bilingual Language Growth of Spanish-Speaking Children in Dallas: Impact of Endogenous and Exogenous Factors:
A longitudinal study of the Spanish and English skills of children who attended a two-generation (parent-child) training program in the Dallas area. This two-generation program was administered by a non-profit organization dedicated to educating primarily first-generation immigrant families of at-risk children in a positive environment. Families attended the training program once a week at the location closest to them. Many of the program sites were public schools. The BLL is currently collecting data from these families and children at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in Dallas. In this project, we collect narrative retell language samples from each child in English and Spanish (one sample in each language per semester) to track the development of each language. The BLL also collects home language surveys and administers bilingual language screenings once per year. The first time point of this project was Fall 2014. This project is supported in part by a BBS Faculty Research Initiative Grant, and by The Jerry M. Lewis, M.D. Foundation.

Identification of Reading and Language Disabilities in Spanish-Speaking English Learners:
This project is being conducted in conjunction with colleagues from The University of Houston. The purpose of this study is to use large-scale, longitudinal datasets to explore the factors affecting the validity and consistency of the identification and classification of reading and learning disabilities in Spanish-speaking students designated as English Learners at risk of developing significant learning disabilities in reading, language, or both. This project is supported by The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education.

Quality of Early Mother-Child Communication and Language Outcome in Low-Income Hispanic Children:
This project is being conducted in conjunction with Dr. Margaret Owen (BBS) and colleagues at The University of Georgia. The purpose of this study is to capture the quality of the early communication foundation among low-income Spanish-speaking families and to examine relations between this communication foundation and later child language development and school readiness. This project is supported by The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


Ongoing Studies Being Conducted by BLL Student Members


Analyses of the interaction between home language environment and Spanish/English skills in bilingual children

Analyses of the relation between Spanish skills and English skills in the various projects. (measures including number of different words, grammaticality, etc.)

Analyses of the growth of morphosyntactic skills in English and Spanish during the preschool period as well of analyses of covariates of these growth trajectories (e.g. home language exposure, and vocabulary)

Tracking longitudinal growth and loss of first language (Spanish) and it’s impact on second language (English) acquisition via grammatical and lexical narrative expressive language measures using multilevel modeling techniques

Analyses of the relation between home language environment, maternal education, and preschool attendance on vocabulary

Investigation of the impact of maternal education and preschool enrollment on performance on the bilingual language screener of preschool age bilingual children


Completed BLL Studies


An eye tracking investigation where we compared visual attention skills to language skills in elementary-age English learners from the Dallas area

A pupil dilation experiment in monolingual and bilingual adults to investigate physiological responses to high frequency, low frequency, and nonsense words in English and Spanish