Language dominance in Urdu-English bilinguals: a comparison of subjective and objective measures
The purpose of this study is to investigate the ability of Urdu-English bilinguals to accurately identify their proficiency in both English and Urdu, extent of bilingualism, and dominance. In addition, this study explores how cumulative language exposure and current language use are associated with measures of proficiency and dominance. Forty-six young adults participated in this study and completed a language questionnaire, proficiency interview, adapted naming tests, and a standardized naming measure for English. Self-ratings of oral proficiency were compared to objective measures including examiner rated proficiency based on conversational fluency, performance on an examiner-designed naming test, and a standardized measure of English receptive vocabulary. Language dominance and bilingual index scores were calculated to evaluate degree of bilingualism and dominance. The results revealed that self-ratings were significantly correlated with examiner ratings and naming tests in each language as well as with dominance and bilingual index scores. Cumulative exposure measures were correlated with several proficiency measures but amount of current language use was not correlated with any proficiency measures. Findings suggest that Urdu-English bilinguals are able to identify their language proficiency in both languages, extent of bilingualism, and language dominance. This was consistent with findings from previous research on Mandarin-English (Sheng et. al., 2014) and Spanish-English bilinguals (Gollan et. al., 2012). In addition, the positive correlations between the examiner-designed naming test and subjective and objective measures of proficiency and between the naming test and cumulative exposure measures suggest that the naming test is a promising tool that can be further improved to address the needs of a prominent bilingual group.