Korean-Influenced English

I wanted to share a question that came in from one of our SLP-Impact members about Korean-influenced English.

Not sure if you have anyone familiar with Korean-influenced English on staff, but I figured it was worth a shot. To find an answer to my question below, I have tried googling and posting on the Speech Pathologists at Large facebook group, but haven’t been able to find anything.
A 5;2 girl who speaks Korean and English has been referred to me for the phonological process of stopping /s/ in all word positions. I have your “Difference or Disorder?” book and the Korean speech norms say /s/ is acquired by 6 years of age. BUT, should the *stopping* of /s/ (as opposed to other errors such as interdental tongue position) be resolved by age 5? Thanks!

I did some research on this and found an article published in 2010 that specifically addresses stopping.  The authors were comparing speech development in native Korean speakers who lived in Korea vs. children of Japanese mothers living in Korea and learning both languages.  They looked at stopping and found that the Korean children, all 5 years of age, did not exhibit the pattern of stopping.
Taking this information with the information in Difference or Disorder, which shows that /s/ should be mastered in all positions by age 6, I would say that we would not expect stopping of /s/ or consistent errors on /s/ because she is approaching the age of mastery.
Next questions–how frequent are her errors? Can she imitate the sound, produce it in delayed imitation, and generalize it into phrases and sentences.  If errors are occurring with a high frequency (>50% of the time) and you answer no to the other questions, I think you can feel comfortable addressing her production of /s/ in intervention.
Kim, J. S., Lee, J. H., Choi, Y. M., Kim, H. G., Kim, S. H., Lee, M. K., & Kim, S. J. (2010). Korean speech sound development in children from bilingual Japanese-Korean environments. Korean journal of pediatrics53(9), 834-9.
Hope this helps!
Ellen

Written by: Ellen Kester

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