High-functioning autism and second language development:A case study

  • Norma Patricia Barletta Universidad del Norte
Keywords: High-functioning autism, language development, sociocultural theory

Abstract

Children with autism experience difficulties to develop their first language. Learning a second language (L2) can imply additional challenges even if immersed in a second language environment. The objective of this case study is to describe some of the features of the development of English as L2 in a six-year old child with high-functioning autism recently arrived in the US. The objective is to compare the process with that of typically developing children. Data were obtained from observations of tutorial sessions, which were recorded, transcribed and analyzed following Vygotsky´s dialectical method, in which learning is seen as a dynamic and complex process. The analysis shows that though the child experiences most phases as typically developing children do, some of the autistic features represent a challenge for L2 learning. However, given a permanent support on a one-to-one basis, some of these features can become an advantage for L2 learning.

 

Author Biography

Norma Patricia Barletta, Universidad del Norte

Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching

Associate professor at Universidad del Norte.

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Published
2018-12-21
How to Cite
Barletta, N. P. (2018). High-functioning autism and second language development:A case study. Revista Interamericana De Psicologia/Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 52(2). https://doi.org/10.30849/rip/ijp.v52i2.345