Identify Appropriate Articulation Targets for Second-Language Learners
Course Type: PowerPoint Video
Improve articulation therapy with English-language learners by identifying appropriate targets. Easily use common tools such as Venn Diagrams and the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation to differentiate between true sound errors and second-language influences. In this presentation we will use Spanish as an example to explore how sounds develop when a second language is present.
Participants will be able to:
- Apply a systematic framework to the speech assessment of second-language learners.
- Identify speech characteristics of foreign languages that are consistent with English.
- Analyze and interpret articulation test results of English language learners.
- Differentiate between speech errors that result from impairment and errors that result from second-language influence.
Improve articulation therapy with English-language learners by identifying appropriate targets. Easily use common tools such as Venn Diagrams and the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation to differentiate between true sound errors and second-language influences. In this presentation we will explore 12 languages including Spanish, Mandarin-Chinese and Vietnamese.
The population of the United States is incredibly diverse. It is estimated that 21% of the U.S. population of school-age children speak a language other than English at home and the population of English language learners is projected to continue growing (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009; U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). When we examine the make-up of educators in the United States in comparison to U.S. demographic information, we see the need for easily accessible information about the languages and cultures present in the U.S. The project we present stemmed from the needs of a group of speech-language pathologists who had the job of evaluating articulation skills of children from many different language and cultural backgrounds. The framework we use to distinguish between articulation differences and articulation disorders is useful for all educators who work with English language learners. Use of this framework results in more rapid therapeutic progress and a reduction in unnecessary referrals of English language learners for special education evaluations.
Our goal in exploring the most commonly spoken languages in the United States is to enhance our understanding of speech patterns common to English language learners with different native languages. Our framework for analyzing errors provides parents, teachers, and other educators with the process they need to determine whether speech production errors are indicative of speech impairment or are the result of the normal process of language acquisition with more than one language. It is a very simple framework—if sounds/structures exist in both languages, they should not be affected in second language production. If sounds/structures do not exist in both languages, we expect transfer of skills or features from one language to another.
The Sound Systems of Languages
When we consider the sound system of two languages, we examine which sounds exist in both languages and which ones are unique to one language or the other. This information helps us evaluate speech production errors and determine whether they could be due to differences in the sound systems of the two languages. We also consider phonotactic constraints, or allowable sound combinations in each language (Dell, Reed, Adams, & Meyer, 2000). Our use of Venn diagrams and the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation allows for an easy visual representation of sounds that might be problematic for an English language learner across a number of native languages.
We aim to provide educators with a solid framework and detailed linguistic and cultural information to support their understanding of their students’ skills. An enhanced understanding of the ways languages interact will help educators identify goals for students in the classroom, help differentiate students who need support from special education and students who do not, and will preserve precious special education resources for those who need them.
Dell, G. S., Reed, K. D., Adams, D. R., & Meyer, A. S. (2000). Speech errors, phonotactic constraints, and implicit learning: A study of the role of experience in language production. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26(6), 1355-1367.
Goldstein, B. (2012). Bilingual language development and disorders in Spanish – English speakers, Second edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
National Center for Education Statistics (2009). Language minority school-age children. Retrieved from the Institutes of Education Sciences web site: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/co/2010/section1/indicator05.asp.
U.S. Census Bureau (2008). Language spoken at home American Community Survey. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.
U.S. Census Bureau (2009). Language spoken at home American Community Survey. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/2009_release/