Semin Speech Lang 2005; 26(1): 22-32
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-864213
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Early Language Growth in Children Adopted from China: Preliminary Normative Data

Karen E. Pollock1
  • 1Professor and Chair, Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 February 2005 (online)


Normative data on English language development in children adopted from China are needed to determine whether a child's language skills are within normal limits or significantly delayed relative to his or her peers who are other children adopted from China. A longitudinal survey of children adopted from China, modified from a similar survey used by Glennen and Masters (American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 2002;11:417-433) with children adopted from Eastern Europe, was used to collect information on English language development from over 150 children at 3-month intervals. Preliminary results are presented here, based on 808 surveys from 141 children grouped by age at time of adoption. In general, children adopted at older ages used more words and produced longer sentences at each 3-month interval postadoption, but had further to go to “catch up” to norms for nonadopted monolingual English-speaking peers of the same age. Individual profiles illustrate the variation seen within groups, with some children performing at or above age level and others showing varying levels of “delay” relative to nonadopted monolingual English-speaking peers and/or adopted peers.


Karen E Pollock, Ph.D. 

Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, University of Alberta

2-70 Corbett Hall, Edmonton

Alberta T6R 2G4, Canada

Email: [email protected]