Author Information

Jenna DeChristopher


Purpose: 1) To examine the spontaneous speech fluency of typically developing bilingual children obtained during an oral narrative task involving a conversational interview. 2) To determine what type of disfluencies may be present and 3) To investigate if there is a difference between fluency data obtained live and fluency data obtained from audio recordings during fluency sampling.

Method: Two examiners were used for this study. A corpus of one hundred words was obtained from eight participants by both examiners, audio taped, and transcribed. Live data was also obtained during the time of speech sampling. The participants were preschoolers between ages three and five who spoke Brazilian Portuguese or Spanish in the home. The Teacher Questionnaire (Guiterrez-Clellen & Kreiter, 2003) was used to determine if the participants were proficient enough speaking and understanding English to appropriately interact with the examiners.

Results/Findings: 1) Results showed a low frequency of occurrence of developmental disfluencies for both live data and audio recording data. 2) There were no observed non-developmental disfluencies during the sampling. 3) There was a significant difference between the data recorded live and data obtained from audio recording.

Conclusion: The participants were acquiring and using two languages simultaneously, yet demonstrated the same types of normal disfluencies as children who are in the process of acquiring one language. The difference between the data obtained live and the data obtained from the audio recording support similar findings of Rousseau, Onslow, Packman, & Jones (2008) that suggest that one means of collecting data may be more efficient than another.

Note on the Author

Jenna DeChristopher is a graduating senior majoring in Special Education with a concentration in Communication Disorders. Her project was completed in the summer of 2012 under the mentorship of Dr. Suzanne Miller (Communication Disorders) and made possible through the funding of an Adrian Tinsley Program summer research grant. This project was presented at the Bridgewater State University’s Summer Research Symposium in 2012. This project was also presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in La Crosse, Wisconsin in April of 2013.

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