Clinical Issues: Conceptualizing Bilingualism: Defining the Standard for Child Language Assessment It is estimated that the majority of the world’s population speaks more than one language (Grosjean, 1982; Romaine, 1996). Although common, bilingualism is a complex phenomenon, particularly when it comes to the task of distinguishing between typical and atypical bilingual language development. To identify speech and language impairment in children ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   July 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Conceptualizing Bilingualism: Defining the Standard for Child Language Assessment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brenda K. Gorman
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Rachel G. Aghara
    The University of Texas at Austin
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   July 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Conceptualizing Bilingualism: Defining the Standard for Child Language Assessment
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2004, Vol. 11, 20-24. doi:10.1044/lle11.2.20
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2004, Vol. 11, 20-24. doi:10.1044/lle11.2.20
It is estimated that the majority of the world’s population speaks more than one language (Grosjean, 1982; Romaine, 1996). Although common, bilingualism is a complex phenomenon, particularly when it comes to the task of distinguishing between typical and atypical bilingual language development. To identify speech and language impairment in children who speak one language, speech-language pathologists must first have a strong conceptualization of what normal speech and language development looks like. Likewise, in order to identify speech and language impairment in children who are learning two languages, it is necessary that clinicians understand the processes involved in bilingual language acquisition. There are various models of bilingualism that account for proficiency, or communication ability, in each language. In this article, we will introduce a unique model of bilingualism and its usefulness in accounting for various patterns of language development. We will also discuss the implications of this model for assessment of children from bilingual language backgrounds.
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