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Academic Paper

Title: Language abilities of internationally adopted children from China during the early school years: Evidence for early age effects?
Author: Audrey Delcenserie
Institution: McGill University
Author: Fred Genesee
Institution: McGill University
Author: K. Gauthier
Institution: McGill University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: We assessed the language, cognitive, and socioemotional abilities of 27 internationally adopted children from China, adopted by French-speaking parents, 12 of whom had been assessed previously by Gauthier and Genesee. The children were on average 7 years, 10 months old and were matched to nonadopted monolingual French-speaking children on age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Although there were no significant differences between the groups with respect to socioemotional and cognitive development, the adoptees scored significantly lower than the controls on measures of receptive grammar, expressive vocabulary, word definitions, and sentence recall, findings that were similar to those reported by Gauthier and Genesee. Analyses of correlations between the adopted children's language test results and their age at adoption, length of exposure to the adoption language, health, and other developmental problems revealed relatively few significant associations. In contrast, analyses of the relationship between their language test scores and their performance on the recalling sentences subtest suggest a link between performance on these two tests. We speculate on the role that performance on sentence recall might play in mediating differences in language outcomes between the two groups of children.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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