Verminderde taalvaardigheid bij tweetalige ouderen

Meijnderts, A., Jonkers, R. & van Steenbrugge, W., 2015, In : Stem-, spraak- en taalpathologie. 20, p. 238-256 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

In the current study, the effect of aging on the language proficiency of nine bilinguals was investigated. All participants were of Dutch origin, but mainly interact in English due to their migration to Australia. To investigate whether aging will result in deterioration of language proficiency in different modalities, both the Dutch Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT; De Bleser, Willmes, Graetz & Hagoort, 1991) and the English translation of the Aachen Aphasia Test (E-AAT; Miller, Willmes & De Bleser, 2000) were administered in two separate test sessions. Test scores were compared to normscores obtained from a monolingual population (Dutch population: De Bleser et al., 1991; British population: Miller et al., 2000). Elderly Dutch-English bilinguals scored significantly below average on both tests. A possible explanation for this is their mean age, which is higher for the current group than both normgroups. Another possible explanation is a reduced language ability in English due to a lack of formal education and a relatively late onset of second-language acquisition. The reduced language ability in Dutch could then be caused by a frequency effect: the participants have been living in a foreign environment for (several) decades. A comparison of the Dutch (AAT) and English (E-AAT) results reveals that participants scored significantly lower on Reading andWriting in English than in Dutch. This might be explained by the fact that the participants have less formal education due to the fact that they migrated after puberty. On the contrary, the participants scored significantly higher onNaming in English than inDutch. This might be explained by a frequency effect, since the participants mainly speak English in their daily life (as measured by our background questionnaire). There were no differences in performance measured on the other subtests. Finally, a comparison between the English and Dutch MMSE scores showed that the MMSE score of a bilingual is influenced by the language it is administered in in some cases.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)238-256
Number of pages18
JournalStem-, spraak- en taalpathologie
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • ageing bilingualism

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