Leeds Bradford Language Exposure Questionnaire (LeBLEQ)
- LeBLEQ-C - administered to children to quantify bilingual language exposure when parental engagement is low (typically used together with LeBLEQ-T).
- LeBLEQ-T - given to teachers for an indication of how a particular child is performing in relation to classroom based skills (typically used along together with LeBLEQ-C).
- LeBLEQ-A - administered to adults to quantify bilingual language exposure (allows for comparisons across children and adults).
Research consistently demonstrates monolingual and bilingual children to perform differently on various standardised tests of language, particularly when assessing both receptive and expressive skills (Bialystok et al., 2010; Hoff, 2013; Thordardottir, 2011). Although bilinguals’ linguistic ability is heavily dependent on exposure to the language in question (Cattani et al., 2014; De Houwer, 2010), information gathered on children’s language exposure is often reliant on parental report. However, this is not always feasible in research due to low parental response rates when recruiting from schools.
The Leeds-Bradford Language Exposure Questionnaire (LeBLEQ) was developed as a means of capturing the distribution of languages a child may use outside the school environment. This tool aims to create a gradient, continuous score of bilingualism, which can be used independent of parental report and identify areas in the classroom environment where children struggle due to this level of exposure.
The LeBLEQ for children is comprised of two components: the first, entitled Leeds-Bradford Language Exposure Questionnaire for Children (LeBLEQ-C), is designed to be administered to children by researchers, whilst the second, entitled Leeds-Bradford Bilingual Exposure Questionnaire for Teachers (LeBLEQ-T), is designed to be completed by their teacher.
A third version, entitled Leeds-Bradford Language Exposure Questionnaire for Adults (LeBLEQ-A) and mirroring LeBLEQ-C, was also developed, so that it can be administered to adults to quantify bilingual language exposure. This would allow for comparisons across children and adults.
LeBLEQ-C and LeBLEQ-A each contain 35 questions while LeBLEQ-T contains 33 questions, taking 5 minutes and 2 minutes to complete, respectively.
The development of the LeBLEQ-C (and consequently LeBLEQ-A) was informed by a review by Paradis (2011) which found total length of exposure, frequency in different contexts, and language used in different types of activities (reading, listening to music, playing games etc.) to be among the most common considerations when developing tools to assess language proficiency. Consequently, much like many prior parental report questionnaires (e.g. Parents of Bilingual Toddlers Questionnaire (Tuller, 2015) or The Alberta Language Environment Questionnaire (Paradis, 2011)), factors explored in the LeBLEQ-C included cumulative exposure (De Houwer, 2010; Thordardottir, 2011), order of acquisition (Hermanto, Moreno & Bialystok, 2012) and context of acquisition (Ben Zeev, 1984). Factors such as the richness and context of exposure were also assessed as well as language use and family dynamics. The ability to gain such vital information on a child’s language experience, without the need to rely on parental report, is considered to be highly valuable in research contexts, but also in education and clinical settings where this information is unavailable.
LeBLEQ-T sought to gain information on the verbal and non-verbal skills displayed in the classroom environment, as well as contexts in which reduced language performance is likely to occur. Therefore, questions were constructed with the aim of determining the degree in which a child was thought to perform on various tasks involving reading, writing, speaking, listening, and some more general aspects of language. It also assesses whether this performance differs from the teacher’s expectations for a typically-developing monolingual. Though the LeBLEQ-T does not aim to result in a score of language exposure, per se, it works in collaboration with the LeBLEQ-C to give a more comprehensive view of a child’s language proficiency.
The use of the LeBLEQ for children with its two components (or the stand-alone LeBLEQ-A for adults) can consequently be used to gather information on a child’s language history and current linguistic performance. The questionnaire can be used in research, educational and clinical settings alike and can be administered by teachers, TAs, SENCOS etc., as well as researchers and speech and language therapists who may not always have a direct link with parents. Most importantly, the LeBLEQ does not require specific training and does not require a controlled environment for administration. This gives invaluable insight into the language performance of school-aged children that might otherwise have been unknown without parental cooperation.
swap_vertical_circlemode_editAuthors (1)Ekaterini Klepousniotou
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