Current projects

Language acquisition difficulties and bullying: exploratory and mediating factors (EDU2018-85909-P).

This project is a follow-up of previous projects of the applicant Research Group regarding the developmental study of specific difficulties in language acquisition. Results of previous studies evidenced a poor level of social skills in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), an aspect that might potentially make them vulnerable to be bullied at school. The relationship between language acquisition difficulties and bullying has not been explored in depth, despite the extant scarce works on the topic have shown that language acquisition and communication difficulties seem to pose a risk factor towards victimization and peer rejection. On the other hand, these phenomena can have negative consequences on the academic performance and the psychological well-being of those affected in the medium and long-term. In addition, scientific literature identifies the existence of other emotional, cognitive and temperamental factors, which can have a modulating role in inducing, maintaining and in the consequences of bullying on the victims. For this reason, with a preventive and palliative motivation, the aim of this project is to prospectively and retrospectively study the relationship between language acquisition difficulties and bullying. The results of this project will have repercussions on the orientation of future prevention and intervention actions aimed to avoid the occurrence of bullying and at alleviating the harmful effects on those who suffer or have suffered it.

Bilingualism and education: impact on executive control and language in persons with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI) (EDU2013-45174-P). Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Due date: December 2017.

This project is arranged in two main objectives. For the first main goal, we will examine the association between several dimensions of personality, language switching habits, and several measures of cognitive control in wide a sample of young Catalan-Spanish bilinguals. Given that decision making might differ between languages within the bilingual person, we will also explore how moral dilemmas are modulated in the bilingual mind. In the second main aim of the study, we will evaluate the impact of bilingualism on both linguistic and executive control capacities in children with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI). With this project we will address an important issue raised by our multicultural society: to know whether the presence of multiple languages in the mind of a child with severe difficulties in language acquisition is beneficial or detrimental for his cognitive, linguistic, and educational development.

Development and change of language acquisition difficulties and their influence in learning to read and write (SEJ2006-12616/PSIC). Ministerio de Educación y Cultura. Due date: January 2012.

The aim of this project was the longitudinal study of language difficulties in bilingual Spanish-Catalan children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). We first described their linguistic symptoms in a representative sample of children with SLI in Mallorca (Spain) compared to their age-matched controls. Through a causal model, we reported the main predictors of the acquisition of literacy in bilingual Spanish-Catalan children (5 years – 12 years of age), thus becoming one of the few projects exploring the temporal course of language development among bilingual Spanish-Catalan children with SLI.