Grammatical Error Types Using A Picture Description Task in English and Spanish with Young Children

Lisa Valles, University of Texas at El Paso


Purpose: The current study was part of a larger project examining diagnostic accuracy of various assessment tools for bilingual children living in a border community. The purpose of this project was to examine language sample measures in young children using a picture description task (Eisenberg & Guo, 2013) by answering the following questions: 1. What were the frequent types of errors exhibited by young children in English and Spanish? 2. Were there distinct types of grammatical errors across languages in bilingual children? Methods: Participants were recruited from a large city on the US/Mexico border. There were 47 participants in the study. Parent and teacher questionnaires were completed to determine language history and current use in English and Spanish. Language samples were collected in Spanish and English using procedures adapted from Eisenberg and Guo (2013). Results: Results showed that the participants exhibited more tense errors in English and more pronominal errors in Spanish which was consistent with previous literature, indicating validity for the Picture Description Task with bilingual children. Discussion: The results from the current study were consistent with previous literature; participants produced more tense marker errors in English and more pronominal errors in Spanish. Additionally, there were more Code-switching occurrences in Spanish, which may have been due to the participants’ greater English dominance as determined by the parent and teacher questionnaires. The picture description task showed promise in its use with bilingual children. Further research should examine error types in children with language impairment to identify potential markers.

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Multicultural Education|Foreign language education|Educational tests & measurements|Educational evaluation|Bilingual education

Recommended Citation

Valles, Lisa, "Grammatical Error Types Using A Picture Description Task in English and Spanish with Young Children" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13878367.