Elin Thordardottir's research while affiliated with McGill University and other places

Publications (61)

Article
Aims The sparse available evidence on verbal fluency in bilingual children shows them to perform lower than monolinguals on semantic fluency (taken as indicating vocabulary) but on par or better on phonemic fluency (taken as indicating executive functioning). This study takes a more detailed look at verbal fluency skills in bilingual children by ex...
Article
Purpose This study examines the degree to which adolescents in Iceland are judged by native Icelandic speakers to have a foreign accent both in Icelandic and in English, two languages that are learned under different conditions, as the community and school language, and through school and incidental exposure. Method Fifty-eight adolescents, 27 wit...
Presentation
In 2016, for English-speaking countries, the CATALISE project, agreed on common terminology and criteria for reporting unexplained oral language impairment in children. The term "Developmental Language Disorder" (DLD) was recommended for language difficulties that cause functional impact in everyday life and that are associated with a poor prognosi...
Article
Language acquisition and Language Maintenance (LM) both depend on ample opportunity and motivation. Currently, many national language societies are undergoing Language Shift (LS) to English, impacting their acquisition as first (L1) and possibly even more as second (L2) language. This study interviewed 44 adolescents, including 24 L1 and 20 L2 spea...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the long-term language outcomes of adolescents in the complex multilingual context of Iceland, where children learn Icelandic as a first (L1) or second language (L2), in a background of incidental English from internet and media sources. Method 50 adolescents enrolled in grades 8, 9 and 10 in Reykjavik (Iceland) public schools...
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Public awareness of language impairment in childhood (Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)) has been identified as an important determiner of research and clinical service delivery, yet studies directly assessing public awareness are lacking. This study surveyed awareness across 18 countries of Europe. Method A questionnaire developed by an inter...
Article
In children with a hearing loss who receive cochlear implants (CIs) under the age of 2, regular assessments are conducted to monitor auditory and linguistic progress. However, the collection of authentic, representative, and reliable expressive language data on young children with CIs remains a challenge. The purpose of the study was to determine w...
Article
Objective: This article examines the efficacy of language intervention services for monolingual and immigrant children in a public clinic in Montreal, Canada. Intervention is provided in French for a preset number of sessions regardless of intervention needs. The study assessed immediate gains after intervention, their maintenance over 2 months, a...
Article
Evidence based practice calls for clinical decisions to be based on a combination of research evidence, clinical expertise and client perspectives. A relatively small proportion of the research evidence on language intervention efficacy has focused specifically on bilingual children. This article reviews early research as well as recent findings on...
Article
In response to the recent sharp increase of L2 students in Reykjavik schools, allocation criteria for special L2 services were adopted that were based on length of residence and on whether children’s home language was tonal or not tonal. This study set out to evaluate the appropriateness of these criteria, and to replicate previous findings of a sm...
Article
Objectives This study examined the extent to which the language performance of school-age bilingual children is impacted by the amount of language exposure they have received in each language versus the timing of this exposure in terms of the age of first exposure (AoE). Methods Receptive and expressive vocabulary and word morphology measures were...
Article
Purpose: Grammatical morphology continues to be widely regarded as an area of extraordinary difficulty in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). A main argument for this view is the purported high diagnostic accuracy of morphological errors for the identification of SLI. However, findings are inconsistent across age groups and across la...
Article
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We present a new set of subjective age-of-acquisition (AoA) ratings for 299 words (158 nouns, 141 verbs) in 25 languages from five language families (Afro-Asiatic: Semitic languages; Altaic: one Turkic language: Indo-European: Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Slavic, and Romance languages; Niger-Congo: one Bantu language; Uralic: Finnic and Ugri...
Article
Amount of language exposure is correlated with bilingual lexical development, but findings are mixed on how exposure relates to nonword repetition (NWR), a complex skill involving both short-term processing and long-term vocabulary knowledge. We extend previous work to a younger age group by investigating the role of exposure on NWR versus vocabula...
Article
Purpose: This study investigated the clinical effectiveness of monolingual versus bilingual language intervention, the latter involving speech-language pathologist-parent collaboration. The study focuses on methods that are currently being recommended and that are feasible within current clinical contexts. Method: Bilingual children with primary...
Article
Purpose: The study examined the effect of bilingual input on the grammatical development of bilingual children in comparison to monolingual peers. Method: Spontaneous language samples were collected in English and French from typically-developing bilingual and monolingual pre-schoolers aged 3 years (n = 56) and 5 years (n = 83). Within each age...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the present study is to present a tool for screening speech sound disorders among French-speaking preschool-aged children. Presently, there are no tools supported by research and normative data available to evaluate consonant production in French-speaking preschool-aged children. The present screening tool consists of 40 words. The prel...
Article
Speech-language evaluation of Franco-Ontarian children is a complex task for speech-language pathologists due to the lack of tools and regional standards. This study first replicated, with 26 Franco-Ontarian monolingual children, a study from Quebec (Thordardottir, Keheyia, Lessard, Sutton et Trudeau. 2010). Children in the study were matched for a...
Article
Abrégé Le but de cette étude est de présenter un outil de dépistage des troubles du développement des sons de la parole pour les enfants franco-canadiens d’âge préscolaire. Présentement, il n’existe pas d’outil appuyé par des données normatives pour évaluer la production des consonnes chez les enfants francophones d’âge préscolaire. L’outil de dépi...
Article
Purpose: Nonword repetition (NWR) and sentence imitation (SI) are increasingly used as diagnostic tools for the identification of Primary Language Impairment (PLI). They may be particularly promising diagnostic tools for bilingual children if performance on them is not highly affected by bilingual exposure. Two studies were conducted which examine...
Article
Full-text available
School-age children (n=39) acquiring Icelandic as a second language were tested yearly over three years on Icelandic measures of language knowledge and language processing. Comparison with native speaker norms revealed large and significant differences for the great majority of the children. Those who scored within the normal monolingual range had...
Article
The relationship between amount of bilingual exposure and performance in receptive and expressive vocabulary in French and English was examined in 5-year-old Montreal children acquiring French and English simultaneously as well as in monolingual children. The children were equated on age, socio-economic status, nonverbal cognition, and on minority/...
Article
This study provides a systematic description of French consonant acquisition in a large cohort of pre-school aged children: 156 children aged 20-53 months participated in a picture-naming task. Five analyses were conducted to study consonant acquisition: (1) consonant inventory, (2) consonant accuracy, (3) consonant acquisition, (4) a comparison of...
Article
Unlabelled: Evidence-based practice requires that clinical decisions be based on evidence from rigorously controlled research studies. At this time, very few studies have directly examined the efficacy of clinical intervention methods for bilingual children. Clinical decisions for this population cannot, therefore, be based on the strongest forms...
Article
Research on the diagnostic accuracy of different language measures has focused primarily on English. This study examined the sensitivity and specificity of a range of measures of language knowledge and language processing for the identification of primary language impairment (PLI) in French-speaking children. Because of the lack of well-documented...
Article
Full-text available
We explored the relationship between working memory (WM) and visually controlled attention (CA) in young bilingual and monolingual children. Previous research has shown that balanced bilingual children outperform monolinguals in CA. However, it is unclear whether this advantage is truly associated with bilingualism or whether potential WM and/or la...
Article
It is generally recommended that bilingual children be assessed in both of their languages. However, specific procedures for such bilingual assessment and for interpretation of the results are lacking. Normally developing French – English bilingual preschool-age children were compared to monolingual children (n = 28) on expressive and receptive mea...
Article
Previous research has indicated that the manifestation of specific language impairment (SLI) varies according to factors such as language, age, and task. This study examined the effect of task demands on language production in children with SLI cross-linguistically. Icelandic- and English-speaking school-age children with SLI and normal language (N...
Article
Neurologic and radiologic findings in children with well-defined developmental language impairment have rarely been systematically assessed. Children aged 7 to 13 years with developmental language impairment or normal language (controls) underwent language, nonverbal cognitive, motor and neurological assessments, standardized assessment for subtle...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines inflectional abilities in French-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) using a verb elicitation task. Eleven children with SLI and age-matched controls (37–52 months) participated in the experiment. We elicited the passé composé using eight regular and eight irregular high frequency verbs matched for age of a...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines inflectional abilities in French-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) using a verb elicitation task. Eleven children with SLI and age-matched controls (37–52 months) participated in the experiment. We elicited the passé composé using eight regular and eight irregular high frequency verbs matched for age of a...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on specific language impairment (SLI) in French have identified specific aspects of morphosyntax as particularly vulnerable. However, a cohesive picture of relative strengths and weaknesses characterizing SLI in French has not been established. In light of normative data showing low morphological error rates in the spontaneous language of F...
Article
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Our goal was to evaluate detailed school-age language, nonverbal cognitive, and motor development in children with developmental language impairment compared with age-matched controls. Children with developmental language impairment or normal language development (controls) aged 7 to 13 years were recruited. Children underwent language assessment (...
Article
Children with Down syndrome (DS) have cognitive disabilities resulting from trisomy 21. Language-learning difficulties, especially expressive language problems, are an important component of the phenotype of this population. Many individuals with DS are born into bilingual environments. To date, however, there is almost no information available reg...
Article
Full-text available
The Lidcombe Program is an operant treatment for early stuttering. Outcomes indicate that the program is effective; however, the underlying mechanisms leading to a successful reduction of stuttering remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether fluency achieved with the Lidcombe Program was accompanied by concomitant reduction...
Article
Although a number of studies have been conducted on normal acquisition in French, systematic methods for analysis of French and normative group data have been lacking. To develop a systematic method for the analysis of language samples in Quebec French, and to provide preliminary normative data on early lexical and syntactic development in French w...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of the complexity of verb argument structure, argument structure errors are infrequent in the speech of children with specific language impairment (SLI). The study examined the spontaneous argument structure use of school-age children with SLI and with normal language (NL) (n = 100). The groups did not differ substantially in frequency of...
Article
The use of complex syntax was investigated in narrative language samples of older children and adolescents with Down syndrome (n = 24) and a group of typically developing children matched on mean length of utterance. Both groups used conjoined and subordinate sentence forms and did not differ significantly in either the proportion of utterances con...
Article
Linguistic nonfluencies known as mazes (filled pauses, repetitions, revisions, and abandoned utterances) have been used to draw inferences about processing difficulties associated with the production of language. In children with normal language development (NL), maze frequency in general increases with linguistic complexity, being greater in narra...
Conference Paper
Linguistic nonfluencies known as mazes (filled pauses, repetitions, revisions, and abandoned utterances) have been used to draw inferences about processing difficulties associated with the production of language. In children with normal language development (NL), maze frequency in general increases with linguistic complexity, being greater in narra...
Article
Full-text available
Accounts of language development vary in whether they view lexical and grammatical development as being mediated by a single or by separate mechanisms. In a single mechanism account, only one system is required for learning words and extracting grammatical regularity based on similarities among stored items. A strong non-linear relationship between...
Article
Low verb diversity and heavy reliance on a small set of high-frequency 'general all purpose (GAP)' verbs have been reported to characterize specific language impairment (SLI) in preschool children. However, discrepancies exist about the severity of this deficit, particularly in whether these children's verb diversity is commensurate with their MLU...
Article
Adaptations of the widely used MLU measure have been developed in several languages. Such adaptations require numerous modifications, especially in languages that are highly inflected. This study involved the development of a systematic procedure for coding language samples from Icelandic toddlers. Results are reported in terms of mean length of ut...
Article
This study used a single-case alternating treatments design to compare the effectiveness of monolingual and bilingual clinical treatment approaches in teaching English vocabulary to a bilingual child with language impairment. In contrast to the widespread belief that regular exposure to two languages should not be recommended for children with lang...

Citations

... Participants included 58 adolescents: Twenty-seven L1 speakers of Icelandic (both parents are L1 speakers of Icelandic), 21 L2 speakers of Icelandic (neither parent is an L1 speaker of Icelandic), and 10 two-first language (2L1) speakers of Icelandic and of another language (one parent is an L1 speaker of Icelandic). Findings on language performance and attitudes toward Icelandic and English of the first two groups are reported in Elin Thordardottir (2021aThordardottir ( , 2021b. Background characteristics were derived from background questionnaires filled out by parents, similar to those used in many previous studies (Elin Thordardottir, 2011aThordardottir, , 2015aThordardottir, , 2020; these are reported in Table 1. ...
... However, there have been recent attempts to quantify the exposure and language skills in groups of trilingual children. These studies found that, on average, trilingual children get less exposure to each of their languages, which has a negative effect on their language outcomes compared to bilingual and monolingual peers (Mieszkowska et al., 2017;Coté et al., 2021;Thordardottir, 2021). If parents of trilingual children are cognizant of such differences in exposure and outcomes, they may have elevated concerns. ...
... However, the majority of the evidence-based research to date, derives from English speaking countries, and there is rather limited research deriving from other countries, including Greece (Okalidou and Kampanaros, 2001). Additionally, although DLD affects a substantial number of children, 7.5% at school entry age (Norbury et al., 2016), public awareness is still rather limited when compared to other neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia (Conti-Ramsden et al., 2013;Bishop, 2017;Thordardottir and Topbaş, 2021). In this direction, examining teachers' views on DLD is very important since this disorder may impact on various aspects of children's development including learning in the classroom (Dockrell and Lindsay, 2001;Bishop et al., 2017;Dockrell et al., 2017), as well as social and emotional competence (Botting and Conti-Ramsden, 2000;Van Daal et al., 2007;Lindsay et al., 2010;McCormack et al., 2011;Wadman et al., 2011;Bakopoulou and Dockrell, 2016;Toseeb and St Clair, 2020;Ralli et al., 2021b). ...
... We are also fully cognizant of the human resource limitations U.S. schools face. There is a well-documented shortage of bilingual teachers to work with DLLs (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017) in general and an even bigger shortage of bilingual speechlanguage pathologists (Thordardottir, 2020). The current context makes it challenging to ensure it is feasible for DLLs, even those from commonly spoken home languages (e.g., Spanish), to be assessed bilingually. ...
... Early vocabulary development in children with CIs has typically been assessed using language samples, language diaries, and/or parent checklists (Duchesne et al., 2020;Ertmer & Mellon, 2001;Nott et al., 2009). Parent checklists typically capture more words that children could understand and/or say than other methods, especially when the vocabulary size becomes increasingly large (Duchesne et al., 2020). ...
... Assessing multilingual children causes difficulties for clinicians, who often lack the adequate tools to work with multilingual children (Salameh, 2019). In a European study involving practitioners from 39 countries, only one third of the participants declared that they were confident working with multilingual populations (Thordardottir & Topbaş, 2019). One problem was the lack of knowledge of multilingual language performance, another problem was the lack of standardized tests suitable for multilingual children. ...
... Supplemental Material: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha. 16632649 M ultilingual interventions for children with a speech sound disorder (SSD) and/or developmental language disorder (DLD) are of international interest among speech-language pathologists (SLPs; Thordardottir & Rioux, 2019;Verdon et al., 2015b). Half of the world's population speaks more than one language (Eberhard et al., 2021) and SSD and DLD are among the most common difficulties addressed by SLPs in pediatric populations (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], 2020; Broomfield & Dodd, 2004). ...
... Camilleri & Law, 2007;Hemsley et al., 2010;Hoff et al., 2012;Restrepo & Silverman, 2001). Furthermore, even when language assessments in the appropriate language do exist, the normative sample may not represent the specific dialect or culture of the child (Garcia & Desrochers, 1997;Taylor, 1986;Thordardottir, 2006). Consequently, typically developing EAL children assessed with these tools would perform below monolingual norms, and could be incorrectly identified as language impaired (Armon-Lotem et al., 2015, Genesee, Paradis & Crago, 2004. ...
... Cette étude a révélé que quatre consonnes étaient acquises avant l'âge de 36 mois (/t, m, n, z/), 12 consonnes/semiconsonnes l'étaient entre 36 et 53 mois (/p, b, d, k, ɡ, ɲ, f, v, ʁ, l, w, ɥ/) et quatre consonnes/semi-consonnes l'étaient après l'âge de 53 mois (/s, ʃ, ʒ, j/). MacLeod, Sutton, Sylvestre, Elin Thordardottir et Trudeau (2014) ont aussi publié des données sur le ratio de consonnes produites correctement par ces mêmes 153 enfants (moyenne et score équivalent à un écart-type sous la moyenne). Aucune autre donnée normative n'est néanmoins disponible pour le développement de la phonologie, notamment en ce qui concerne la production des syllabes. ...
... Esta evidencia no siempre incluye muestras de habla española, ni muestras bilingües, por lo que sus resultados deben incorporarse a la práctica con precaución. Ante la falta de evidencia sobre población bilingüe, la generalización de los resultados de los estudios sobre desarrollo monolingüe a población bilingüe depende de las preguntas que se incluyan en la investigación, y podría ser útil para la práctica en algunas ocasiones, ya que el número de lenguas no es siempre la variable más importante, sino que existen muchos puntos comunes que pueden aportar información válida (Thordardottir, 2017). ...