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Speech fluency in bilingual children

Grant number: 17/03520-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 15, 2017
Effective date (End): December 22, 2017
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Cláudia Regina Furquim de Andrade
Grantee:Ana Paula Ritto
Supervisor abroad: Talita Maria Fortunato-Tavares
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : City University of New York, New York (CUNY), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:14/05265-5 - Speech fluency and altered auditory feedback: comparison between objective and perceptual measures, BP.DR


Background: Bilingual children often present a significant number of stuttering-like disfluencies, caused by word-finding difficulties, which may lead to the wrong diagnosis of stuttering. Differentiating speech difficulties caused by bilingualism from fluency disorders is crucial, once the failure of a proper diagnosis can delay precise intervention and recovery. According to the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) demographic report, in the 2013-2014 school year, 43.3% of all NYCDOE students reported speaking a language other than English. Procedures: 200 4- and 5-year-old children attending NYCDOE schools will participate. For baseline evaluation, children will be recorded during a spontaneous speech task, in English, and a during a Non-Word Repetition test. Both will be used for the assessment of speech fluency difficulties and word-finding difficulties. Children who perform inadequately on one or both tests will then take part on a short intervention program, customized to make them suitable to children with English as an additional language, and will address word-finding difficulties at two levels (phonological and semantic). The intervention will be delivered in group sessions over three weeks. The general goal is to establish use of English phonological constructions that occur in vocabulary material that children need to acquire. Improving performance on phonological constructions that are used in English should improve access to vocabulary that then affects educational outcomes. The final evaluation will be performed similarly as the baseline, for comparison.