The designation of "bilingual" refers to an individual who possesses fluency in two languages. Conversely, when an individual demonstrates proficiency and fluency in more than two languages, they may be referred to as multilingual.
The Power of Language
The power of language is immense. It is through language that we can connect, comprehend, and interact with the world around us. Thus, children must develop the necessary language skills to thrive both in and out of the classroom. For bilingual children, this means assessing their proficiency in not just one, but two languages. This assessment is referred to as a bilingual language evaluation.
In this article, we will delve into crucial questions regarding Bilingual Language Assessment and provide guidance on how to seek out a professional for obtaining an evaluation.
What is a Bilingual Language Evaluation?
A bilingual language evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of a child's language abilities in two. This evaluation is typically conducted by a licensed speech and language pathologist who has specialized training and experience in evaluating bilingual children. Research has shown that there are three common characteristics of bilingual (and multilingual) speakers:
Distributed skills and uneven ability,
Cross-language associations, and
Individual variation (Kohnert, 2010).
Thus, a comprehensive bilingual language evaluation, unlike standardized language assessments for monolingual speakers, is a better alternative to take the aforementioned factors into account.
The evaluation aims to identify areas of strength and weakness in each language, as well as any potential language-related disorders that may be affecting the child's development.
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Why is a Bilingual Language Evaluation Important?
Bilingual language evaluations are necessary for a variety of reasons:
To start with, they render it possible to measure a child's language development accurately by figuring out their degree of skill in each language.
Secondly, they can identify any language-related disorders, such as a language delay, that may be impeding the child's development.
Thirdly, they can identify cross-language associations among bilingual children that have transfer effects on the two languages involved. These effects include phonological, lexical–semantic, and morphosyntactic areas of language (Mcleod et al., 2017).
Finally, bilingual language evaluations can be utilized to guide educational and therapeutic interventions, ensuring that children receive the necessary assistance in developing their linguistic skills.
What Does a Bilingual Language Evaluation Involve?
A bilingual language evaluation typically involves both formal and informal assessments. Informal evaluations may include observation, conversation, and play-based activities, whereas formal assessments may include standardized tests. These evaluations will be used by the speech and language pathologist to assess the child's language skills, including their vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and expressive abilities.
Bilingual Language Evaluation at Total Communication
At Total Communication, we understand the importance of bilingual language evaluations for children. That's why we offer comprehensive bilingual therapy services designed to support bilingual children and their families. Our team of experienced and licensed bilingual therapists uses the latest evaluation techniques to evaluate a child's language abilities and provide personalized treatment plans to support their development. With our commitment to evidence-based practices and a family-centered approach, we aim to provide effective and reliable solutions for bilingual children and their families.
In conclusion, bilingual language evaluations are essential for identifying potential language-related disorders, guiding educational and therapeutic interventions, and supporting bilingual children's language development. If you're concerned about your child's bilingual language development, or if you're looking for a trusted and experienced bilingual therapist, look no further than Total Communication.
Kohnert, K. (2010). Bilingual children with primary language impairment: Issues, evidence and implications for clinical actions. Journal of communication disorders, 43(6), 456-473.
McLeod, S., Verdon, S., Baker, E., Ball, M. J., Ballard, E., David, A. B., ... & Zharkova, N. (2017). Tutorial: Speech assessment for multilingual children who do not speak the same language (s) as the speech-language pathologist. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 26(3), 691-708.