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Languages 2018, 3(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030023

The Narrative Abilities of an English-Spanish Bilingual with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Ottawa, Hamelin Hall, 2nd floor, 70 Laurier Ave. East, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the narrative abilities of a 33-year-old English-Spanish bilingual with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). The few previous linguistic studies examining monolinguals with PWS have focused primarily on these individuals’ narrative capacity, revealing a performance deficit in this area (Lewis et al. 2002; Garayzábal-Heinze et al. 2012). The present study is novel in that it examines a bilingual speaker and also tests his narrative abilities in both languages. Two wordless picture books from Mayer’s (1967, 1969) Frog story series were used as the elicitation method. The PWS bilingual produced, over two experimental sessions, four narratives (two in each language), which were compared to four analogous narratives produced by a 25-year-old typically developing bilingual with a comparable linguistic background and proficiency level in Spanish and English. Following Gonçalves and collaborators’ (Gonçalves et al. 2001a, 2001b, 2001c) narrative evaluation protocol, the narratives were analyzed according to three dimensions: narrative structure and coherence, narrative process and complexity, and narrative content and multiplicity. Overall, the results revealed that the PWS bilingual (1) presented a poor narration ability in both languages, with narrative content and multiplicity being the least impaired; (2) showed better narrative abilities during the second experimental session (i.e., narrative abilities improved with experience/practice); and (3) did not show typically developing behavior but a comparable performance to that of monolingual speakers with PWS. These findings suggest that bilingualism should not be discouraged in PWS populations and that special attention should be given to the development of their narrative abilities in their school curriculum. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingualism; developmental disabilities; Prader-Willi syndrome; narrative abilities bilingualism; developmental disabilities; Prader-Willi syndrome; narrative abilities
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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García-Alcaraz, E. The Narrative Abilities of an English-Spanish Bilingual with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Languages 2018, 3, 23.

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