For bilingual and monolingual SLPs working with bilingual and multicultural children, the question of: “Is it a difference or a disorder?” arises on a daily basis as they attempt to navigate the myriad of difficulties they encounter in their attempts at appropriate diagnosis of speech, language, and literacy disorders.
For that purpose, I’ve recently created a Checklist for Identification of Speech-Language Disorders in Bilingual and Multicultural Children. Its aim is to assist Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Teachers in the decision-making process of how to appropriately identify bilingual/multicultural children who present with speech-language delay/deficits (vs. a language difference), for the purpose of initiating a formal speech-language-literacy evaluation. The goal is to ensure that educational professionals are appropriately identifying bilingual children for assessment and service provision due to legitimate speech language deficits/concerns, and are not over-identifying students because they speak multiple languages or because they come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. It is very important to understand that true language impairment in bilingual children will be evident in both languages from early childhood onwards, and thus will adversely affect the learning of both languages.
However, today the aim of today’s post is not on the above product but rather on the FREE free bilingual and multicultural resources available to SLPs online in their quest of differentiating between a language difference from a language disorder in bilingual and multicultural children.
Let’s start with an excellent free infographic entitled from the Hola Blog “Myth vs. Fact: Bilingual Language Development” which was created by Kelly Ibanez, MS CCC-SLP to help dispel bilingual myths and encourage practices that promote multilingualism. Clinicians can download it and refer to it themselves, share it with other health and/or educational professionals as well as show it to parents of their clients.
Let us now move on to the typical phonological development of English speaking children. After all, in order to compare other languages to English, SLPs need to be well versed in the acquisition of speech sounds in the English language. Children’s speech acquisition, developed by Sharynne McLeod, Ph.D., of Charles Sturt University, is one such resource. It contains a compilation of data on typical speech development for English speaking children, which is organized according to children’s ages to reflect a typical developmental sequence.
Next up, is a great archive which contains phonetic inventories of the various language spoken around the world for contrastive analysis purposes. The same website also contains a speech accent archive. Native and non-native speakers of English were recorded reading the same English paragraph for teaching and research purposes. It is meant to be used by professionals who are interested in comparing the accents of different English speakers.
Now let’s talk about one of my favorite websites, MULTILINGUAL CHILDREN’S SPEECH, also developed by Dr. Mcleod of Charles Stuart University. It contains an AMAZING plethora of resources on bilingual speech development and assessment. To illustrate, its Speech Acquisition Data includes A list of over 200 speech acquisition studies. It also contains a HUGE archive on Speech Assessments in NUMEROUS LANGUAGES as well as select assessment reviews. Finally, the website also lists in detail how aspects of speech (e.g., consonants, vowels, syllables, tones) differ between languages.
The Leader’s Project Website is another highly informative source of FREE information on bilingual assessments, intervention, and FREE CEUS.
Now, I’d like to list some resources regarding language transfer errors.
This chart from Cengage Learning contains a nice, concise Language Guide to Transfer Errors. While it is aimed at multilingual/ESL writers, the information contained on the site is highly applicable to multilingual speakers as well.
You can also find a bonus transfer chart HERE. It contains information on specific structures such as articles, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, word order, questions, commands, and negatives on pages 1-6 and phonemes on pages 7-8.
A final bonus chart entitled: Teacher’s Resource Guide of Language Transfer Issues for English Language Learners containing information on grammar and phonics for 10 different languages can be found HERE.
Similarly, this 16-page handout: Language Transfers: The Interaction Between English and Students’ Primary Languages also contains information on phonics and grammar transfers for Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hmong Korean, and Khmer languages.
For SLPs working with Russian-speaking children the following links pertinent to assessment, intervention and language transference may be helpful:
- Working with Russian-speaking clients: implications for speech-language assessment
- Strategies in the acquisition of segments and syllables in Russian-speaking children
- Language Development of Bilingual Russian/ English Speaking Children Living in the United States: A Review of the Literature
- The acquisition of syllable structure by Russian-speaking children with SLI
To determine information about the children’s language development and language environment, in both their first and second language, visit the CHESL Centre website for The Alberta Language Development Questionnaire and The Alberta Language Environment Questionnaire
There you have it! FREE bilingual/multicultural SLP resources compiled for you conveniently in one place. And since there are much more FREE GEMS online, I’d love it if you guys contributed to and expanded this modest list by posting links and title descriptions in the comments section below for others to benefit from!
Together we can deliver the most up to date evidence-based assessment and intervention to bilingual and multicultural students that we serve! Click HERE to check out the FREE Resources in the SLPs for Evidence-Based Practice Group
Helpful Bilingual Smart Speech Therapy Resources:
- Checklist for Identification of Speech-Language Disorders in Bilingual and Multicultural Children
- Multicultural Assessment Bundle
- Best Practices in Bilingual Literacy Assessments and Interventions
- Dynamic Assessment of Bilingual and Multicultural Learners in Speech-Language Pathology
- Practical Strategies for Monolingual SLPs Assessing and Treating Bilingual Children
- Language Difference vs. Language Disorder: Assessment & Intervention Strategies for SLPs Working with Bilingual Children
- Impact of Cultural and Linguistic Variables On Speech-Language Services
- Assessment of sound and syllable imitation in Russian-speaking infants and toddlers
- Russian Articulation Screener
- Creating Translanguaging Classrooms and Therapy Rooms
3 thoughts on “Is it a Difference or a Disorder? Free Resources for SLPs Working with Bilingual and Multicultural Children”
[…] education coursework offered by the Leader’s Project website Start developing a library of FREE and paid evidence-based assessment and intervention materials. Finally, please keep in mind that the most effective therapy practices involve respecting the […]
So much great information!! My school has mostly bilingual students and we face these questions all the time.
I am so excited to find this website and the wealth of information offered! We are receiving more and more referrals of ELL students, and it is a challenge to determine whether they have a difference or a disorder. I’m very concerned that students are being identified who do not have a disorder. Thank you!