- Dates: 2019–2022
- Funding body: ESRC (£735,474)
- Primary investigator: Prof. Cecile De Cat (Leeds, Linguistics)
- Co-investigators: Dr Arief Gusnanto (University of Leeds), Dr Drasko Kascelan (Linguistics & Phonetics, Leeds), Prof. Ludovica Serratrice (University of Reading), Dr Sharon Unsworth (Radboud Universiteit), Prof. Philippe Prévost (Université de Tours), Prof. Laurie Tuller (Université de Tours), Peter Gillman (Reading University)
- L@L satellite: Language Development and Cognition
- L@L themes: Multimodality and multilingualism
This project aims to bring a step-change in the measurement of bilingual language experience. It will seek to establish an optimal metric informed by an in-depth review of existing tools and a consensus among researchers, speech & language therapists and educators on what aspects of language experience to index.
We aim to deliver user-friendly, online questionnaires (and their associated back-end calculators) to return measures of current and cumulative language experience in real time, as well as a number of other measures inform the profiling of bilingual children. The questionnaires will be available in 13 languages, and vary in length and level of detail: the shortest version will be useful when parental consultation is challenging; the longest version will yield more fine-grained measures to enable in-depth enquiries.
Reliability and cross-language validity of the tools we develop will be assessed using new data from 300 children in 3 different countries. Based on this assessment, we will provide evidence-based guidance to inform users’ choice on the level of questionnaire detail most appropriate to their needs.
Exploiting cutting-edge statistical techniques, we will also develop an objective method to identify early those bilingual children in need of support with their school language, helping practitioners estimate when a child who speaks a different language at home can be expected to have “caught up” with their monolingual peers.