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Quantifying Bilingual Experience

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.

Project website