Multilingualism in children has been increasing over the years and the amount of research in this area has almost tripled between in the past 20 years. In Lebanon, children start learning a foreign language, French or English and sometimes both, at Nursery level in private schools and public schools. The Lebanese dialect has been moulded over the years to include three languages used, more or less, interchangeably. Nonetheless, this complex interaction between the languages remains under-researched in Lebanese children, not to mention the lack of information on its impact on language development and the presentation of language disorders. Through research and empirical studies, our project will address the following questions: What is considered a typical language development trajectory in multilingual children? Which environmental factors influence language development in Lebanese children? Are the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing language disorders valid and reliable when applied on multilingual children?
Results of this project will be discussed in the context of recommendations for teaching and assessment of language in multilingual communities in addition to parental recommendations and communication in the home environment.
This project is welcoming volunteer student researchers who are interested in gaining research experience.
Contact: Rama Kanj, [email protected]
Institution: University of Reading, UK