Error analysis of Korean-English bilingual children’s speech productions

Jae-Hyun Kim, Elaine Ballard, Clare McCann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Type of surface-level speech errors can be diagnostically valuable information to identify children with speech sound disorder (SSD). There is a lack of such information for bilingual children, which makes identifying bilingual children with SSD a significant challenge. This article reports on error production in Korean-English bilingual (KEB) children. Methods: Single-word samples were collected from 52 KEB children aged between 3;0 and 7;11. The word productions were analysed for error and compared to the existing date from monolingual English-speaking (ME) and monolingual Korean-speaking (MK) children. Results: While some children’s error production was similar to what would be expected in respective monolingual children, other children produced errors that would be considered delay, atypical or even advanced for their monolingual counterparts in both of their languages. No reliable factors could be identified to determine the characteristics associated with delay, atypical or advanced error production compared to monolingual children. Conclusions: There are qualitative differences in phonological development between monolingual and bilingual children. The clinical use of available monolingual normative data is likely to lead to an inaccurate diagnosis of SSD. Small cohort studies in bilingual phonological development should not be taken as normative data in clinical practice due to heterogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-29
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Archives of Communication Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Korean Association of Speech Language Pathologists 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • phonological development
  • error patterns
  • speech sound disorders
  • bilingualism


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