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Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013 Aug;15(4):375-82. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2012.752866. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Non-word repetition performance in Korean-English bilingual children.

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Department of Communication Disorders, Ewha Womans University, 11-1 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea.


The goals of this research were (1) to compare bilingual and monolingual children on Korean non-word repetition performance, and (2) to examine the relations between non-word repetition and vocabulary skills in bilingual and monolingual children. Sixty children aged from 3-5 years participated in this study, including 30 Korean-English bilinguals and 30 Korean monolinguals. The Korean-English bilingual children were sequential bilinguals who spoke Korean at home and English at school. Children were tested on a non-word repetition task and their Korean and English vocabulary skills were measured by standardized tests. The results showed that bilingual children were significantly lower on standardized vocabulary scores (p < .01). However, there was no difference between bilinguals and monolinguals on non-word repetition performance. Correlation analyses showed a significant association between non-word repetition performance and vocabulary skills of the tested language in both groups, while the association between non-word repetition and age was significant in the monolingual group. These results demonstrated that the non-word repetition task measures general language learning ability and is a sensitive predictor of vocabulary skills in linguistically diverse children.

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