No AccessLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in SchoolsResearch Note19 Jan 2021

Vocabulary Gains in Bilingual Narrative Intervention


    The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effect of bilingual narrative intervention on vocabulary gains in Hebrew (school language) and English (home language) among English–Hebrew bilinguals, using a block design (one language at a time), and to determine whether there was cross-linguistic transfer to the language that was not receiving intervention.


    Sixteen English–Hebrew bilingual children participated in the study using an adaptation of the Puente de Cuentos intervention. Vocabulary was examined using a word definition task before the intervention, post English intervention, post Hebrew intervention, and 4 weeks after the interventions ended to examine maintenance of skills.


    Repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed that children made significant gains in vocabulary in the language of intervention as expected. In addition, children made cross-linguistic gains in Hebrew during the English intervention, but made no gains in English following Hebrew intervention.


    These results underscore the need to provide language support in the home language to ensure growth and that intervention in the home language does not hinder growth in the school language.


    Additional Resources