Performance on the Novel Bound-Morpheme Generalization (NBMG) task in Korean-English bilingual children

Yeonjoo Jo, Dongsun Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The standard evaluation tools widely used today cannot accurately assess the learning ability of bilingual children. For this reason, we produced the Novel Bound-Morpheme Generalization task (NBMG) in both English and Korean to measure bilingual children's ability to learn morphemes. Methods: The age of the subjects ranged from 4 years and 6 months to 7 years old. There were 30 normally developing Korea-English bilinguals, 30 normally developing Korean monolinguals, and 20 Korean monolinguals with language impairment. For the bilinguals, both Korean NBMG (KNBMG) and English NBMG (ENBMG) tests were conducted, while for the monolinguals only KNBMG was conducted. Results: First, for the KNBMG, the performance of Korean monolinguals with language impairment was noticeably poorer than bilinguals and normal Korean monolinguals. Second, for the bilingual children, there was a noticeable correlation between their KNBMG performances and REVT total scores, and between KNBMG and ENBMG performances. Conclusion: In conclusion, NBMG was proven to be an effective evaluation tool for identifying children with language impairment; a poor performance on KNBMG may reasonably lead to suspicion of language impairment. It further suggests that measuring children's language ability through a task created in a single language is effective when the language is shared by the bilingual children and the speech language pathologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.


  • Bilingual children
  • Dynamic assessment
  • Language disorder
  • Morpheme


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