We examined developing bilinguals’ use of animacy and word order cues during sentence interpretation tasks administered in each of their languages. Participants were 6- to 8-year-old children who learned vietnamese as a first language and english as a second language (n = 23). Participants listened to simple sentences and identified the agent or doer of the action. English-only peers (n = 23) served as a comparison group. Results indicated that the bilingual group relied more on animacy than the english-only group when interpreting sentences in english and that the bilingual group used a blending or amalgamation of cues to interpret english and vietnamese sentences. Significant within-group variation in cue preference was investigated as a function of age and proficiency in the first language and second language. 2010 Cambridge university press.