Purpose: The effect of semantic naming treatment on crosslinguistic generalization was investigated in 3 participants with English-Spanish bilingual aphasia.
Method: A single-subject experimental designed was used. Participants received semantic treatment to improve naming of English or Spanish items, while generalization was tested to untrained semantically related items in the trained language and translations of the trained and untrained items in the untrained language.
Results: Results demonstrated a within- and across-languages effect on generalization related to premorbid language proficiencies. Participant 1 (P1; equal premorbid proficiency across languages) showed within-language generalization in the trained language (Spanish) as well as crosslinguistic generalization to the untrained language (English). Participant 2 (P2) and Participant (P3) were more proficient premorbidly in English. With treatment in English, P2 showed within-language generalization to semantically related items, but no crosslinguistic generalization. With treatment in Spanish, both P2 and P3 exhibited no within-language generalization, but crosslinguistic generalization to English (dominant language) occurred. Error analyses indicated an evolution of errors as a consequence of treatment.
Conclusions: These results are preliminary because all participants were not treated in both languages. However, the results suggest that training the less dominant language may be more beneficial in facilitating crosslinguistic generalization than training the more proficient language in an unbalanced bilingual individual.