"What they Hear and What they Say: Considerations for Assessment of Bilingual Children" by Elizabeth D. Peña, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

Monday, February 22nd, 5:30-6:30 PM CST

In the U.S. one in five children has exposure to another language in their home or community. As such, patterns of language acquisition can be highly variable. An educational challenge in this population how to distinguish between typical and atypical performance in L1 and L2 use. Comparison to of bilingual children’s language to monolinguals may contribute to high rates of misidentification of DLD. On the other hand, assumptions of a “normal” bilingual delay may contribute to documented delays in identification and intervention. In this talk I will present challenges for assessment of bilingual children and provide emerging solutions to improve our clinical assessment practices.

About the Speaker

Elizabeth Peña is Associate Dean of Faculty Development & Diversity and Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Education. She is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Her research focuses differentiating language impairment from language difference in bilingual children. This work examines children’s lexical-semantic, morphosyntactic, and narrative performance across both their language. She is a co-author on the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA) designed to identify speech and language impairments in children who have exposure to Spanish and English. 

Key References

Hoff, E., & Core, C. (2015, May). What clinicians need to know about bilingual development. In Seminars in speech and language (Vol. 36, No. 2, p. 89). NIH Public Access. 

Peña, E.D., Bedore, L.M., Lugo-Neris, M., & Albudoor, N.E. (2020). Identifying Developmental Language Disorder in School age Bilinguals: Semantics, Grammar, and Narratives. Language Assessment Quarterly. 

Peña, E.D., Bedore, L.M., Shivabasappa, P. & Niu, L. (2018). Effects of Divided Input on Bilingual Children with Language Impairment. International Journal of Bilingualism. 1-17. 

Additional Resources

What They Hear and What They Say Notes