Bilingual Outcomes for a Child with Down Syndrome in the Early French Immersion Program
Children with Down syndrome (DS) seem to rarely participate in French Immersion (FI) programs. The purpose of the present study was to examine the longitudinal outcomes of one participant with DS in a New Brunswick FI program and to document whether participation in FI leads to cognitive advantages in the EF skills after completing 7 years in the program. Results showed the bilingual participant was continuing to develop his English language and reading skills from T1 to T2, but his French language and reading skills had stalled. There was no significant difference in EF skills found between the bilingual participant and the monolingual comparison group. Although no evidence of a bilingual advantage was found in this study, the results of the current study support the findings of other studies of bilingualism in DS (Kay-Raining Bird et al., 2005; Edgin et al., 2011) that individuals with DS can and do become bilingual, with no detriment to their first language, and extends the findings to bilingual acquisition in a FI context.