Title: Assessment and Treatment of Language Disorder in Children: Considerations for Multilingual Contexts
Abstract: Early identification and treatment of speech and language impairments in young children is critical to improving developmental outcomes. Although a majority of children worldwide learn more than one language, theories of language acquisition often treat monolingualism as the standard learning model. As a result, current measurement tools do not adequately capture the diversity of early cultural or linguistic experiences, leading to over- or under-identification of bilingual children with language impairments. This presentation will describe typical and atypical trajectories of dual language development and share evidence-based practice for culturally and linguistically responsive evaluation and intervention. Dynamic assessment of children’s language learning processes will be examined as a way to improve diagnostic accuracy. Understanding how children build on knowledge in one language to support learning in the other (i.e., cross-linguistic transfer) may be important for designing effective bilingual interventions.