Performance on the Boston Naming Test in Bilinguals.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Int Neuropsychol Soc, Volume 22, Issue 3, p.350-63 (2016)


<p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>We examined performance on the Boston Naming Test (BNT) in older and younger adults who were monolingual English or French speakers, or bilingual speakers of English and French (n=215).</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>Monolingual participants completed the task in their native language, and bilingual participants completed the task in English, French, and bilingual (either-language) administrations.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Overall, younger and older monolingual French speakers performed worse than other groups; bilingual participants performed worst in the French administration and approximately two-thirds of bilingual participants performed better when responses were accepted in either language. Surprisingly, however, a subset of bilinguals performed worse when responses were accepted in either language as compared to their maximum score achieved in either English or French. This either-language disadvantage does not appear to be associated with the degree of balanced bilingualism, but instead appears to be related to overall naming abilities. Differential item analysis comparing language groups and the different administrations identified several items that displayed uniform and/or non-uniform differential item functioning (DIF).</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>The BNT does not elicit equivalent performance in English and French, even when assessing naming performance in monolingual French speakers using the French version of the test. Scores were lower in French overall, and several items exhibited DIF. We recommend caution in interpreting performance on these items in bilingual speakers. Finally, not all bilinguals benefit from an either-language administration of the BNT.</p>

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