Mazes in Spanish-English dual language learners after language enrichment: a case study

Casey L. Taliancich-Klinger, Connie Summers, Kai J. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The number of Spanish-English dual language learners (DLLs) in the United States continues to increase every year. In the absence of developmental language norms for DLLs it is important to learn more about typical language production characteristics to distinguish typical from atypical language characteristics. An area of language production with conflicting results in the literature is the production of mazes. Mazes are interruptions in the forward flow of language in the form of interjections, repairs or revisions of words and phrases. At elevated rates, mazes may interrupt the communication process. A common practice in classroom settings is to provide support for DLLs through small group activities such as language enrichment. It is unknown if maze patterns may change as a result of structured language input meant to increase linguistic skills. This preliminary case study explored maze patterns in four Spanish-English DLLs between the ages of 5;4 and 6;1 before and after two structured language enrichment sessions in English. Pretest and posttest narratives in English and Spanish were analyzed for maze patterns and measures of language productivity using conventional language sample analysis metrics. Maze patterns yielded mixed results. Certain maze types increased from pre to posttest while some decreased. Participants exhibited increases in measures of language productivity in English and Spanish. Language productivity and maze patterns demonstrated changes after two structured language enrichment sessions. Implications for further study of maze patterns in Spanish-English DLLs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpeech, Language and Hearing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Mazes
  • Spanish-English
  • bilingual
  • dual language learners
  • narratives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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