Treatment approaches for second language learners with primary language impairment
Bahr, Ruth Huntley; Silliman, Elaine R.
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, New York, NY, 2015.
The focus of this chapter is on treatment for second language learners diagnosed with primary language impairment. Immigrant children who acquire a minority first language (LI) at home are well represented in almost every nation of the world. In the United States, one of every five school children speaks a language other than English at home. Although Spanish is by far the most common, there are more than three hundred other home languages in the U.S. including Cantonese, Hmong, Russian, Somali and Vietnamese. Immigrant children’s experience with English, their second language (L2), often begins in early childhood and intensifies with age. To underscore the relevance of both home and community languages, L2 learners are also referred to here as developing bilinguals. Studies consistently show a shift to greater ability in English (L2) with age and experience although the LI plays an important, complementary, and continuous role in immigrant children’s lives. As with most monolingual learners, the vast majority of children who learn two languages during childhood are “typical” learners: with appropriate time and experience they become skilled in the languages used consistently in their environments. However, as with single language learners, a subset of developing bilinguals will be challenged in language due to a breach in their internal cognitive-linguistic processing systems. This chapter has three main sections. In the first section I present general characteristics of L2 learners with primary language impairment (PLI). The second section reviews studies that directly investigate treatment effects in developing bilinguals with PLI. In the final section, options are discussed for moving available research into clinical actions followed by a brief discussion of research needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: chapter)