The Discourse Skills of Monolingual & Bilingual School-Aged Children

An elementary school classroom.
The Discourse Skills of
Monolingual & Bilingual School-Aged Children

About the Project

This project is being conducted in collaboration with principal investigator Dr. Patricia Cleave from Dalhousie University and focuses specifically on collecting discourse data that will help us to identify both normative and atypical trends in the development of oral discourse skills.

Differentiating between language disability and normal developmental trajectories can be difficult in bilingual children. As such, there is a need to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the development of discourse skills.

This study linguistically analysed conversational, narrative and expository discourse skills in monolingual and bilingual children in French Immersion programs, between the ages of 7-12. 

Study Overview

Working Title

The Discourse Skills of Monolingual and Bilingual School-aged Children


Analyze the development of discourse skills (conversation, narration, expository) in monolingual and bilingual children between the ages of 7 and 12. 

Research Questions 1

What is the developmental pattern between ages 7 and 12 for discourse skills (conversational, narrative and expository) in monolingual and bilingual children?

Research Questions 2

How does this developmental pattern vary based on type of discourse?

Research Questions 3

What is the impact of bilingualism on the development of discourse skills?

News & Research Articles

Articles highlight the impact and influence of the Discourse Skills project, from research articles to mainstream media.

A mother is showing her daughter how to find something on their home laptop.

Remote Online Language Assessment: Eliciting Discourse from Children and Adults

Frontiers in Communication - 2022
Edited by Natalina Gagarina, Angel Chan, and Wenchun Yang

A graphic of two elementary school-aged children having a discussion with a male teacher. The letters "ABCD" can also be seen, signifying learning.

Learning English for Canadian Children

Honeybee Hub - July 19, 2021
By Diana Burchell, Graduate Assistant, Multilingualism and Literacy Lab, University of Toronto

A group of six children, all wearing differently coloured sweaters.

Multilingualism & Literacy Lab Presents: Language and Literacy Newspaper

Language and Literacy - August 2019
By the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab


Dalhousie University logo, with the Dalhousie Eagle


Patricia Cleave (Primary Investigator) and Elizabeth (Mandy) Kay-Raining Bird

Logo of Université de Moncton


Pierre Cormier

Logo of Université de Montréal


Andrea MacLeod, Stefano Rezzonico, and Natacha Trudeau

University of Ottawa's logo


Nicolay Slavkov and Ann Sutton

University of Toronto's logo, including its Coat of Arms


Xi (Becky) Chen-Bumgardner

Logo of Salt Software from Madison, Wisconsin, depicting a salt shaker

Madison, WI (USA)

Ann Nockerts (Industry Collaborator)