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Information Processing

Information Processing in Children Learning Different Languages

Funding: National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH-NIDCD R01DC019613, awarded to Dr. Kerry Ebert at University of Minnesota)

In collaboration with Dr. Kerry Ebert at the University of Minnesota, this project aims to investigate memory, attention, and processing speed in children who have developmental language disorder and in children without the disorder. We will determine whether our information processing tasks are valid, reliable tasks that effectively identify children with developmental language disorder regardless of language-learning background (e.g., in both monolingual and bilingual children; in children who speak different languages). It is difficult to accurately identify language disorders in children who speak languages other than English at home because most language assessment tools are based on English. Children with developmental language disorder may share common weaknesses in basic information processing skills (like memory, attention, and processing speed) though, and these weaknesses might help us find a way to identify the disorder that is more universal and less dependent on a child’s past experiences with English.