Early Language Development in Dutch Bilingual Children: a Communicative Development Inventory Study.
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In this study, the research question that was investigated was 'How does the vocabulary size of bilingual Dutch children between 8 and 21 months differ from that of monolingual children growing up in the same country?' Caregivers of six bilingual children completed the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) in two languages: Dutch and their second language. Total vocabulary and total conceptual vocabulary were calculated for each child. These data were compared to previously collected data from six monolingual children matched on age and sex. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. Results showed that bilingual children scored higher than their monolingual peers on all measures, but that none of the differences between the groups were significant. It can be concluded that bilingual children are not delayed in their early language acquisition compared to monolingual children. Future research should be aimed at how MacArthur-Bates CDIs can be used to identify a language delay in bilingual children and at reaching consensus on how to calculate conceptual vocabulary.
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