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Working with speech and language disorders in a bilingual context
Bilingualism is not a disorder, nor does bilingualism cause or contribute in any way to speech, language or communication disorders.
However, bilingual and multilingual children are just as likely to experience speech, language or communication disorders as any other child or young person.
The role of the speech and language therapist
Speech and language therapists do NOT provide therapy for additional language learners (sometimes referred to as EAL learners) as bilingualism is not a disorder. However, children growing up with two or more languages are just as likely to experience speech and language disorders as their monolingual peers. If children have speech and language disorder, then these difficulties will be apparent in both or all their languages.
The benefits of a home language approachProviding assessment and intervention (therapy) in the child's home language(s) protects against language attrition and ensures that the child or young person will be able to benefit from the excellent language models and cultural and linguistic experiences afforded by their extended family and community.
English-only (or majority language) therapy is not recommended as this often leads to monolingual English-speaking children who may be potentially cut off from their own parent(s), family or culture as a result.
Providing home language intervention will not slow down English (or mainstream language) acquisition, and will not put the child or young person at risk of educational failure. To only offer English (or mainstream language) assessment and/or therapy is an example of institutional racism.
- Working with Children Experiencing Speech and Language Disorders in a Bilingual Context: A home Language Approach
- Paperback, Kindle Edition and Hardback editions
- Routledge (Publisher)
- Amazon: Paperback | Kindle Edition | Hardcover
- Blackwells (Paperback)
- WHSmiths (Paperback)