Determining whether a student’s speech and language errors result from influences from their native language or whether they are indicative of speech or language impairment is a challenge many educators face. One in every five children in the United States comes from a home in which English is not the primary language. In this book, we compare and contrast English with 12 other languages and African-American English. The information is laid out in charts and diagrams to facilitate the decision-making process about student needs.
Our goals are to:
– Help teachers know when a referral is needed
– Equip speech-language pathologists with information they need to accurately analyze speech and language samples
– Get students the support they need
– Reduce disproportionate referrals of culturally and linguistically diverse students for special education services
The development of this book stemmed from the needs of a group of speech‐language pathologists evaluating the speech and language skills of children from many different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The framework used to distinguish language differences from language disorders is beneficial for all educators, and the use of this framework will result in improved instructional targets for culturally and linguistically diverse students in the general education classroom, as well as more appropriate referrals for special education evaluations.