Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University (2017)
Bachelor of Science, University of California Los Angeles (2007)
Off to a good start: Early Spanish-language processing efficiency supports Spanish- and English-language outcomes at 4 years in sequential bilinguals.
Many Latino children in the U.S. speak primarily Spanish at home with few opportunities for exposure to English before entering school. For monolingual children, the strongest early predictor of later school success is oral language skill developed before kindergarten. Less is known about how early oral language skills support later learning in sequential bilingual children. A question with wide-reaching significance is whether skill in a child's first language (L1) supports later learning in a second language (L2). In this longitudinal study of sequential Spanish-English bilinguals, we assessed oral language skills in Spanish at 2 years through parent reports of vocabulary size and children's real-time language processing efficiency (Accuracy, RT) in the "looking-while-listening" (LWL) task. At 4 years, we assessed language outcomes in both Spanish and English using standardized tests. Reported relative exposure to each language was significantly correlated with language outcomes in Spanish and English. Within-language relations were observed between Spanish vocabulary size and processing efficiency at 2 years and later Spanish-language outcomes. Critically, across-language relations were also observed: Children with stronger Spanish-language processing efficiency at 2 years had stronger English-language skills at 4 years, controlling for SES and exposure to English. Children's early language processing efficiency in Spanish is associated with stronger real-time information processing skills that support maintenance of Spanish and learning in English when these children enter school. These results support the recommendation that primarily Spanish-speaking families should engage in activities that promote children's Spanish-language skills while also seeking opportunities for children to be exposed to English.
View details for DOI 10.1111/desc.12973
View details for PubMedID 32320106
Longform recordings of everyday life: Ethics for best practices.
Behavior research methods
Recent advances in large-scale data storage and processing offer unprecedented opportunities for behavioral scientists to collect and analyze naturalistic data, including from underrepresented groups. Audio data, particularly real-world audio recordings, are of particular interest to behavioral scientists because they provide high-fidelity access to subtle aspects of daily life and social interactions. However, these methodological advances pose novel risks to research participants and communities. In this article, we outline the benefits and challenges associated with collecting, analyzing, and sharing multi-hour audio recording data. Guided by the principles of autonomy, privacy, beneficence, and justice, we propose a set of ethical guidelines for the use of longform audio recordings in behavioral research. This article is also accompanied by an Open Science Framework Ethics Repository that includes informed consent resources such as frequent participant concerns and sample consent forms.
View details for DOI 10.3758/s13428-020-01365-9
View details for PubMedID 32103465
Language nutrition for language health in children with disorders: a scoping review.
The quantity and quality of child-directed speech-language nutrition-provided to typically-developing children is associated with language outcomes-language health. Limited information is available about child-directed speech to children at biological risk of language impairments. We conducted a scoping review on caregiver child-directed speech for children with three clinical conditions associated with language impairments-preterm birth, intellectual disability, and autism-addressing three questions: (1) How does child-directed speech to these children differ from speech to typically-developing children? (2) What are the associations between child-directed speech and child language outcomes? (3) How convincing are intervention studies that aim to improve child-directed speech and thereby facilitate children's language development? We identified 635 potential studies and reviewed 57 meeting study criteria. Child-directed speech to children with all conditions was comparable to speech to language-matched children; caregivers were more directive toward children with disorders. Most associations between child-directed speech and outcomes were positive. However, several interventions had minimal effects on child language. Trials with large samples, intensive interventions, and multiple data sources are needed to evaluate child-directed speech as a means to prevent language impairment. Clinicians should counsel caregivers to use high quality child-directed speech and responsive communication styles with children with these conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41390-019-0551-0
View details for PubMedID 31454828