August 26, 2007

I am asking a question for several people from different disciplines (i.e.,teachers, ABA, SLPs, etc.)as well as for parents pertaining to young ELLs who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Parents often ask what language they should speak at home. Please keep in mind these particular students have issues that other children with other disabilities do not. Is there any evidence-based information regarding this particular group (the more involved child with autism) and bilingualism? Do you have any specific suggestions for families? NOTE: I asked an expert in autism at the university level last year about this. He gave his opinion and acknowledged he had nothing to support it, but supposed only one language should be used due to generalization difficulties, cognitive flexibility issues, level of social-environmental awareness, variable verbal language, etc. I have met other SLPs who have encountered this same experience and have the same question. Also, ABA therapists reportedly tend to tell parents the same thing the university professor said. Any assistance would greatly be appreciated. I certainly understand the logic and concern people have expressed.


June 3, 2007

Just an FYI ~ If you are interested in resources for supporting a bilingual client's L1 feel free to check out an article we just posted under related links:

Cordero, K.N., & Kohnert, K. (2006). Home language support for English language learners with communication disorders. CASHA Magazine, 36(2), 5-7,18.


May 15, 2007

Hi - We're about to have an IEP meeting on a 2nd grade spanish speaking student who does not speak or understand english. Our bi-lingual assessment team said that he does qualify for speech services in articulation and expressive language. My question, being an english speaking only SLP, how do I give therapy to someone who cannot understand me or speak to me (in a language I can understand)? There is no option for a spanish speaking SLP coming and giving therapy in my district.


May 2, 2007

Hi, I'm the moderator for this week and thought I'd ask my own question! I'm thinking of arranging a class in my district for special education teachers, SLP's etc, about dynamic assessment - basically how can we take our assessment procedures and make them 'more' dynamic. Have any of you taught a class like this - not a formal lecture, per se on dynamic assessment but more discussion and consensus. If so I would be anxious to discuss this with you. I have learned a lot about dynamic assessment but would also like to network with those of you who have really put dynamic assessment strategies into place using the typical types of assessment instruments that we are stuck with sometimes!


April 24, 2007

Although formal assessment provides the data necessary for placement in special education, we all know it is not always appropriate to use with ELL's. Has anyone had difficulty getting the school to accept information from dynamic assessment if results are not normed? I am familiar with the articles and Dynamic Assessment Intervention tool mentioned in a previous posting. Does anyone have experience using other kinds of dynamic assessment tasks, particularly with school age children? With that, does anyone have any insight into how they have interpreted results and distinguished difference vs. disorder for this age group?


April 16, 2007

I am curious if anyone else has encountered the following situation: there is a young ELL (5 years old) who had his top teeth pulled by the dentist because of his cavities. He is in need of a speech-language evaluation (not relatd to the teeth). He has commented to his family "I cannot talk because of my teeth". I work in the school setting, it is likely his evaluation would begin but not be completed before the end of the school year. I wanted an opinion if we should go ahead and test language and wait for the speech part of the evaluation until the fall (hoping his teeth might come in during the summer). Any input would be greatly appreciated.


I am currently working with an 11 year old boy who stutters. His first language is Spanish and he has been learning English since first grade. He stutters more severely in Spanish and now prefers to speak in English. I was wondering if other people have had this same experience, where a client stutters more in their first language rather than their second, and what possible explanations you have considered.


Does anyone have any experience working with bilinguals with aphasia? Any suggestions for how to structure therapy if one of the client's languages is completely foreign to you?


April 13, 2007

I am curious to hear different definitions of what semilingualism is, what the sides of the debate are, and what other peoples opinions are on this issue who are in the field of SLP?


April 12, 2007

I was just contacted by a co-worker. She has been providing services to a Spanish-English 5 year old. (He was a monolingual Spanish-speaker until starting preschool during August 2006. He qualified for services based upon deviation from his speech community, etc. so I am confident an appropriate eligibility determination was made.)

Anyway, she called me because she no longer has concerns, is contemplating dismissal and wanted a second opinion. The language of instruction in his regular education preschool (5 full days a week) and speech therapy has been English. However, the SLP has interspersed and used Spanish words and phrases, but has faded them as he has acquired more English. I went to observe him and his speech was not impacting his ability to be understood by teachers and peers and/or use language to communicate with them in the classroom for educational purposes. The kicker is that according the the Spanish-speaking parent educator, the mother reported she still has concerns with his Spanish. I am interested in getting some opinions about the appropriateness of dismissing and anticipate this might spark some interest and controversy. However, we work in the public schools, so please give insight from that perspective. Respectfully submitted 4/12/07.


April 11, 2007

How does an SLP determine if an ELL's reading difficulties are due to their second language acquisiton or a disorder?


How can the SLP provide accurate and effective intervention that recognizes the diverse backgrounds of their diverse caseloads?


April 3, 2007
Is an interesting website. It has profiles and information on about 400 different languages. It also has speech samples one can listen to for these languages. It may be helpful when diagnosing an articulation disorder vs. articulation difference.


I am a speech language pathologist working in a public school system. I am currently collaborating with collegues to discuss a variety of ELL issues as this is a growing caseload in our formerly English only middle class town. The town has limited ELL resources including access to translators. I would appreciate any input to the following questions that frequently arise:
1. How do we support L1 if there is not access L1 speakers other than in the home?
2. What should be the primary focus for an elementary age student with language delays in L1 but is in an English only school?
3. Are there specific strategies/resources recommneded to develop reading and academics in L2 at the higher grades (6-12)?
Thank you for your feedback. This is a fabulous resource for reliable research based information!


March 23, 2007

I work at a large elementary school (1,200 children on 4 tracks). This diversity includes a large population of children that fit the following profile:
Their dominant language at age 5 (kinder) is English. Their parents say "he's English only"; and does not speak the home language. But the language history often includes:
1)first words in a home language other than English;
2)history of being in daily daycare with a home language speaking relative when the child was a toddler;
3)as the child used more language, English became dominant because the household (siblings, cousins, parents) all spoke English
4)parents report minimal oral language "exchange"; (true give and take conversations) between the child and adults;
5)and the child's parents often speak to one another in the second language (which I would think reduces exposure to "adult"; English modeling).

Is there any emerging research to establish a timeline for English acquisition with such a mix of experiences? Or is the whole concept of ELLs everything and everything and nothing is clear cut? Parents often want to know why their "English only"; child is struggling as they're compared to their monolingual peers.
I wish I could reference more research to support the difference between "English only" as a monolingual vs. "English only"; as a child who has experience/exposure with another language.