Publication Date

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Shinchieh Duh


early language development, language input, sequential Spanish-English bilinguals, siblings, vocabulary

Subject Areas

Language; Education; Bilingual education


The literature on language input provided to sequential Spanish-English bilingual children has largely been focused on children attending Head Start. The role of siblings in children’s language outcomes has only been investigated in simultaneous bilinguals. The current longitudinal study extended research on language input by investigating early developmental changes in language input and the role of siblings in the language outcomes of 112 sequential Spanish-English bilingual children. Relative exposure was assessed via a parent interview when children were 18 and 56 months of age. Standardized measures of receptive vocabulary and expressive language in Spanish and English were administered at 56 months. Findings showed an increase in English relative exposure over time in overall exposure and in the exposure provided by different sources of language input, including parents, siblings, and other adults. Linear mixed models’ results demonstrated that relative exposure from siblings was a unique predictor of children’s scores at 56 months, extending previous research on young simultaneous bilinguals. Future research should incorporate siblings when investigating the language input of sequential bilinguals and when designing programs aimed at supporting their language outcomes