How Phonology in Bilingualism Contributes to Over Identification: A Case Study

1 hour

Course Type: Video

Find out which phonological processes to address in English when students are bilingual.

We have all seen comparisons of Spanish to English that help us work with children across languages.  But what do we focus on in our English-only therapy with children who speak Spanish in other contexts such as with friends or at home?

This course presents a rare comparison of Monolinguals in English to Bilinguals in English to help us figure out what we should be focusing on to improve speech and move children off our caseload

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the ages of acquisition of speech sounds in preschool and school-age children from monolingual English and bilingual English-Spanish backgrounds
  • Describe patterns of phonological processes in monolingual and bilingual children
  • Use information about differences in monolingual and bilingual speech development to differentially diagnose bilingual children with impairment from those with typical-development

Disproportionality, over-identification, and over-representation are all terms highlighting the fact that the proportion of English language learners in special education is higher than in general education. As professionals, we want to do best for these kids but part of the problem is that we don’t always have the tools and information we need to make confident decisions about who we serve.

A thorough understanding of the speech development process in monolingual English speakers and Spanish-English bilingual children in the United States will support clinicians in the appropriate diagnosis of speech impairments. The most recent ASHA Schools Survey (2012) indicated that approximately 75% of all speech-language pathologists reported that they do not feel confident in making diagnostic decisions about children from different language backgrounds. Providing normative information about speech development in bilingual children and comparisons to development in monolingual English speakers will help speech-language pathologists more confidently decide whether error patterns are typical for bilingual development or whether they are indicative of speech impairment. Identifying the students who really need support will enhance educational outcomes and save valuable special education resources.

An unfortunate, yet far too common, practice when evaluating Spanish-English bilingual students is to compare their English speech skills to the developmental milestones of monolingual English speakers. A survey completed by Caesar and Kohler (2007) indicated that speech-language pathologists still frequently use formal, standardized testing with their bilingual students despite the fact that the majority of the tests are normed on the majority culture and language. Such practices lead to over-identification of bilingual students in special education programs (Klingner & Artiles, 2003).

Time-Ordered Agenda
How Phonology in Bilingualism Contributes to Over Identification: A Case Study is a video course using the following format:
05 minutes: Introduction
15 minutes: Review of 8 main research studies on bilingualism and phonology
15 minutes: Discussion on why there is such variation in these studies findings
05 minutes: Presentation of study methods
10 minutes: Presentation of results of a study of 322 typically developing bilingual children
10 minutes: Introduction to ASHA supporting documents for serving diverse populations
05 minutes: Course quiz and evaluation
65 minutes total

FINANCIAL: Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is a salaried employee of Bilinguistics. Bilinguistics receives royalty payments for online courses. NONFINANCIAL: Ellen Kester does not have any non-financial relationships to disclose.