DLL Members and Alumni Present at ASHA 2018

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Developing Language and Literacy Laboratory

DLL Members and Alumni Present at ASHA 2018

DLL members and alumni were strongly represented at the 2018 ASHA Convention in Boston Massachusetts November 15th-17th. Dr. Carol Scheffner-Hammer, doctoral student Johanna Hokenson, post-doctoral fellow Dr. Bethany Keffala, and lab alumni Dr. Danna Bitetti, Dr. Lauren Cycyck, and Dr. Shelley Scarpino presented the following poster sessions and paper seminars:

Thursday, November 15th

Grammatical Abilities in English in Young Spanish-English Dual Language Learners (Poster)

Presenters: Joanna Hokenson, Carol Scheffner-Hammer (Author Only), Sherry He (Author Only), Sabrina Alvarez (Author Only), Patricia Reyes (Author Only), Bryn Rothschild-Shea (Author Only), Jane Choi (Author Only)

This investigation examined the proportions of productions of English morphemes among Spanish-English DLLs during the fall and spring of the first two years preschool using play samples taking into account timing of exposure to English.


Patterns of Dialect Specific Constructions in Spanish-English Dual Language Learners (Poster)

Presenters: Teodora Niculae-Caxi, Jodi Reich, Gabrielle Gaviria, Marissa Aguado, Jacqueline Toscano, Carol Scheffner-Hammer (Author Only)

The number of Spanish-English Dual Language Learners (DLLs) is on the rise in the United States. Clinicians and educators need more information about the use and frequency of dialect specific constructions to separate dialect use from language impairment. This study is an investigation of language samples from young school-aged Spanish-English DLLs and found patterns of use specific to this population.


Háblame Bebé: Using Technology to Promote Language Development and Bilingualism in Hispanic Children (Seminar)

Presenters: Anne Larson, Melissa Baralt, Carol Scheffner-Hammer, Joanna Hokenson, Nicole Pearson, Hanna Nash


Háblame Bebé (Talk To Me Baby) is a Spanish app that teaches Hispanic mothers how to use “Language Nutrition” with their infants and toddlers, and about the importance of sociolinguistic pride in being bilingual. This session presents findings on the outcomes associated with using the app with children from low-income backgrounds who are at-risk for developing language delays.



Friday, November 16th

Language Exposure & Code Mixing Frequency of Spanish-English Dual Language Learners (Poster)

Presenters: Janine Peca, Dana Bitetti, Carol Scheffner-Hammer


Research demonstrates that dual-language learners (DLLs) code mix as an effective strategy; however, factors that influence code mixing have not been widely researched. Therefore, this study examined code mixing in the narratives of 212 Spanish-English DLLs at the beginning of preschool to determine if differences in language exposure resulted in differences in the frequency and types of code mixing.


Vocabulary & Phonological Awareness Associations Across Languages in Kindergarten Latino Children (Poster)

Presenters: Shelley Scarpino, Lucia Mendez, Dana Bitetti, Carol Scheffner-Hammer

This study investigated the relation between vocabulary and phonological awareness in English and Spanish in forty-five typically developing Latino dual language learners during the spring of their kindergarten year. Results indicated that vocabulary abilities predicted phonological awareness in the same language, but not across languages.


Thinking About a Ph.D.? Information Session for Prospective Doctoral Students (Seminar)

Presenters: Karen Kirk, Malcolm McNeil, Carol Scheffner-Hammer, Marie Channell


This session is coordinated by the ASHA Research and Scientific Affairs Committee (RSAC). Prospective doctoral students will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of an expert panel discussing important factors to consider when selecting a PhD program and competencies needed for success.



Saturday, November 17th 

Accounting for Language Mixing in the Narratives of Spanish-English Bilingual Preschoolers (Poster)

Presenters: Dana Bitetti, Joanna Hokenson, Alexander Tucci, Carol Scheffner-Hammer


Language mixing is a common occurrence amongst bilinguals; however, few studies account for mixing in language samples. This study proposes a coding system to identify mixed utterances that preserve a child’s MLU-w. Language sample analyses with and without mixed utterances were compared. Results suggest that for common analyses, including this set of mixed utterances may not impact the outcomes.


Development of the Bilingual Assessment of Phonological Sensitivity: Test Design & Initial Findings (Poster)

Presenters: Carol Scheffner-Hammer, Shelley Scarpino, Bethany Keffala, Joanna Hokenson, Sarah Goodwin, Ryan Bowles

Phonological sensitivity is critical for children’s reading skills. Currently, no comprehensive tests of phonological sensitivity are available in Spanish and English that are standardized on young dual language learners (DLLs). To address this need, the Bilingual Assessment of Phonological Sensitivity (BAPS) is being developed for use with Latino preschoolers and kindergarteners who are learning to speak Spanish and English.