Referential communication in bilingual Catalan-Spanish children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

The study analysed the quality of the messages that children with Specific Language Disorder expressed in a referential communication task. In referential communication tasks, children had to describe the positioning of various objects of an image to an adult who doesn’t see them. Children of 8 years with SLI produced lower correct messages than other children with their age. The results also showed that the morphosyntactic level of the children didn’t allow to explain the results of the referential communication task.

Therefore, the difficulties of the children with SLI in the task of referential communication were not exclusively due to a linguistic difficulty, otherwise the children did not take into account the context in which they communicated, the ability of the subject to select important and relevant information and the perspective of the adult. For that reason, in addition to language difficulties, these children had difficulties to put themselves in the place of others, which affected their communication. Therefore, it is necessary to work on communication and theory of the mind, in addition to language, in children with Specific Language Impairment.

 

Reference: Buil-Legaz L, Pérez-Castelló, JA, Adrover-Roig, D & Aguilar-Mediavilla, E. (2016). Referential communication in bilingual Catalan-Spanish children with Specific Language Impairment. The UB Journal of Psychology, 46, 31-40.