Language Delay in Bilingual Children | My Paper Hub
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Simultaneous Language Acq...
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Simultaneous Language Acquisition- happens when a child is raised
bilingually from birth Sequential Language Acquisition-
occurs when upon the establishment of the first language, a second language is
introduced. Bilingual: Someone who speaks two
languages Monolingual: Someone who speaks one
language Multilingual: Someone who can speak
more than two languages Language: It is a mode of
communication among human beings that may be either spoken or written. It
consists the use of words in a designed and conventional approach. Speech: It is a communication or
even the ability to pass on views and feelings in a way that is understandable. CLASP- Cambridge Language and Speech
Project SLPs- speech-language pathologist
SLI- Specific Language Impairment
I was born in a family that spoke both
English and Farsi language. However, as is the case with my younger sister, we
suffered from delayed language development, and this affected me further to the
extent that I could not learn the Farsi language. To date I speak English only.
Despite the delay, I was able to recover fully and become fluent in the
language over time. I was able to talk comprehensively at four years of age
which was a little late as compared to my peers. The delay to some extent
affected my social, emotional and to some level cognitive ability in my
development as a child. I was born and raised with English being the primary
language at home. Research indicates (Paradis, 2010) that children learn the
primary language much easier since it is like the one that the parents or the
caregiver are more proficient in and also if it is the language spoken by the majority.
Children brought up in a bilingual setup experience the mixing up of languages
especially if introduced at the same time. For my case, the two languages presented
together made it harder for my parents to be able to notice any delays in my
tongue until I was three years old. The late intervention is what caused my
inability to acquire a second language with much ease and speed as compared to
the other children with delay do. I was not able to speak until I got to four
years of age and at the time my caregivers used English primarily as the
therapist suggested the introduction of one language at time (Kelly, 2014). It
is this that inspired my research topic since I want to find out more on
language delays especially for children brought up in a bilingual setup.
Languagedelay is theinability of a child to acquirelanguageskills at theageuniversallyacceptedand is suitablefor their growthcalendar
(Catts et al., 1999). Languageandspeech are differentandsothey
can delayindependently. Achild may be able
to comprehendand decode messages to initiatecertainactionbut
may be unable to express
themselves verbally. Boththereceptivelanguageandtheexpressivelanguages are essentialfor one to be in a position to effectivelycommunicate (Berk &
Laura 2012). There are theconventionalstagesthat a child should go through as theydevelopbothexpressiveandreceptivelanguages (See table. 1).
Bilingualism is theability of a child to speak in two languages (Genesee,
2009). Majority of children
to acquire a secondlanguage. It may be soespecially in cases
in languageacquisition of a child. There are variousdegrees of bilingualism, and one does not have to speakthe two languages with equalfluency to qualify
as being bilingual. It is rarefor a child
to acquirenativeproficiency in the two languagesbutusuallytheyhave a dominantlanguage. There are alsochildren that are passive bilingual in thatthey can understand one language though cannot express
themselves in it as theyspeaktheother.
Whatever the level of bilingualism that
a child may attain, it can be a fulfilling achievement
to them andalso to thefamilyespeciallyifthe set-up is bilingual
(Paradis et al., 2011).
In an interview with Kelly (2014) a
language pathologist, she argues that every bilingual childreachesmilestones of languagedevelopment at his or her pace. However,
failure to achievethe benchmarks, it becomeslanguagedelay. Forthisreason, it is keyfor
a bilingual household to raise
a child as a sequential
bilingual rather than a simultaneous
bilingual (Kelly, 2014). Itbecomeseasierforparents
to detectlanguagedelayandinterveneearly, andalso
to preventanyobstruction in social, behavioral, and cognitive development of thechild.
Theworld is increasinglybecoming multilingual.
In Canada, 11.9% of thepopulation
can speakanotherlanguageapart from theconventional English and French (Statistics Canada, 2007). In Toronto alone, 31% of thepeople can speakanotheralienlanguageapart from English and French while
at home. In the United
States, 21% of theschool-agechildrenspeakanotherlanguageapart
from English, andthenumber is projected to rise (Statistics Canada, 2007).
Globally, there are as many bilingual children as are
monolingual children. Bilingual languagelearning is, therefore, a crucialtoolformostchildren (Kohnert et
al., 2005). Theinability of theparents to speakthedominantlanguage may reinforceit, andsotheyteach their child their mothertongue. Thechildrenlearnthedominantlanguage through socialization with thecommunityoreven at school.
Astudy at York University in
Toronto (Genesee, 2009), suggeststhatexposingchildren to two dialectsgivesthe
toddlers a cognitive advantage over the
monolingual children. In a study conducted on children
(Paradis et al., 2011), bilingual childrenwerenoted to be morecreativeandalsobetter at planningand problem-solving. The
bilinguals werealsobetterable to concentrate
on relevantinformationandhadsuperiorcapability to ignoredistractions as compared to the monolingual.
According to the
Cambridge Language and Speech Project (CLASP) (Burden et al., 1996), children
that are growing up in a bilingual family
set-up have a certaindegree of mixing up thelanguages. Ithoweverdecreases with growth of thechild
Typically, thechildrenbecomefluent in bothlanguages at theage of five years. For a child to learn
bilingual language, it is not
from a speech-language therapist unless in caseswherethechildexperiencesdelaysordifficulty in learningtheprimarylanguage. The bilinguals should faceassessments on languagedevelopmentusingthesamecriteria as the monolingual children.
Thestatedincidence of languagedelay among childrenarrays between 2.3 to 19 percent among children
that are between two to seven yearsold
(Silva et al., 1983). Severecases
of languageandspeechdisorder among thechildren can be detrimental to latereducationalachievement of thechildeven
after intervention. Studieshave showed thatchildren
with speechandlanguagedifficulty between 2 to
five years of agehave a lot of troublereading at elementaryschoolage. Forthose that thedelaygoes beyond five yearsold, have
an amplified prevalence of attentionandalsosocialdifficulties. Iftheproblempersists
past seven years to thirteen years
of age, thechildrenfacethethreat of havingdifficulty with writingskills. Others havedeficits in punctuation andalso spelling of words as compared to thechildren
with normaldevelopment. According to a piece of research (Catts et al., 1999) 73% of allthe second-grade studentswhohavebeenidentified to haveinadequatereadingskills. Theyalsohaddifficulties with
at Kindergarten (Catts et al., 1999). As a result of this, SLPs are
progressively and actively engaged
in trying to find a remedy to readingandwritingskills
among childrensuffering from
Achild’s readingandalsowritingskills may be affected by a delay in language in diverseways. Thechild may experiencedifficulties with learningrelations between letterandsounds, as well
as differentiating sounds. Somehaveproblemslearningvisualwords,
spelling, fluency in oralreading, organizingthoughts on paperandalsoforming
of wordsandletters on paper (Burden et al.,
1996). It is, therefore, verycrucialthattheparentpaycloseattention to thelanguagedevelopment
of a child. Theparent should be keen from whenthey are toddlers to be able to identifyanyform of languagedifficultiesordelays
(See Table 1). Iftheysuspectornoticeanylanguageanomalies, it is keyfortheparents
to seektheintervention of a language
pathologist. They are advised
to seektherapy as early as conceivable sothatthey can receivetreatment at an earlystage of life (Catts et al., 1999).
Theresearchmethodused are; personalinterview as well as theacademicjournals
as a source of informationand data forthestudy. I talked, Kerry Ann
Kelly a speech therapist from Long Island New York on
January 29, 2014. Kelly is a speech therapist that has
worked in thelinefor decades. Theinterview has worked with manyfamiliesandoffered their service to a series of
multilingual, bilingual andalso
monolingual children. Therefore,
she is informedandvast with theresearchtopic (Kelly, 2014).
of my research after theinterview with Kelly to a series of
journalsavailableso as to get to studyotherpublishedworks by otherprofessionalsand researchers so as to draw a conclusion. I checkthejournalsforanyagreement,
contradictionorarguments against orfortheconclusionsdrawn from an interview with the therapist andalsogathermoreinformationthat I may not havedrawn from theinterview. Basing a conclusion
on a vastscope of data, studies, andinformationandthereforemadetheresearchauthentic.
Parentsthatraise their children as sequential bilinguals iftheynoticeanydelays in speech should agree on one
language to introduce to the child (Kelly, 2014). It
is howevercrucialthattheparentsstick to a languagethatthey are comfortable
with which is theprimarylanguageand will thushelpthechildrenlearnbetter. Learningthehomelanguage is one primarytherapyfor
bilingual children with delayedlanguagesothat a child may maintaintheconnection with theparents (Kohnert et al., 2005).
It is alsocrucialthatparentsandalsothe
bilingual child may experiencedelay in languagedevelopmentdue to their uniquefactors. There could be internalorexternalfactors that may lead to thedelays, andso are handleddifferently. There is, therefore, nouniversalanddefiniteway of approachingtherapy to suchchildren. Theinternalfactors that may affectthechild
are: disorderssuch as specificlanguagedisorderanddownssyndrome among otherhealthcomplications. Theexternalfactors
that may affect a child are: environmental factorssuch as the
socialization with theparentsandalsoexternalstressorpressure, theinteraction with otherchildrenandalsotheparentswho may be speakingsodiverselanguages to the
unattainable forthechild to learntheprimarylanguage.It is, therefore,
pathologist isolatethepossiblecauses of thedelay (Kelly, 2014).
Delays in languagedevelopment depending on whether
there are timelyinterventions
may result in detrimentaleffects on thechild.
Suchdelays may lead to social, emotionalandalso cognitive problems in thefuture.
It is, therefore, paramountthattheparents be on thelookoutforanyanomalies in thelanguagedevelopment of thechild (Whitman & Schwartz,
Childrenraised in a
bilingual setup may begin to speakcomfortablylater than their monolingual counterparts.
Itdoes not necessarilypoint to a delay in languagedevelopment, buttheparent should be keensothatthelag may not be soprominentorsignificant
(Law et al., 2003). Thechildren
may also be heardmixing up thewords
that are usual in theearlystages of development.
It is howeverkeythat in a bilingual familytheparentsagree on whatmethod to useiftheywant their child to be bilingual. They could employthesimultaneousacquisitionofthelanguagewheretheyintroducethe two languages at thesametime
(Law et al., 2003). Thefamily
should be well structured to knowwhereandwhen
to use a certainlanguage. They could alsoemploythesequentialacquisitionwheretheyintroduce
one language at time. Theywaitforthechild to develop one language before enteringanother one to learn. Italsoneeds a lot of patience from theparents since thechild may experiencedoubts at timesandso should be very supportive and not panic (Burden et al., 1996).
In thecase of noticing delays in languageacquisition, theparents should seektherapyimmediately.
It is importantthateventheparentsundergotrainingandalsotreatment on how to handlethechildfor a fullrecovery
(Whitman & Schwartz, 1985). Parents should
be keen to noticeany red flagsshowingabnormaldevelopment (See table.2). There is not sufficientevidence to emphasis on random screening forlanguagedevelopment. However, in thecase
of a diagnosis of a child
with languagedelayit is importantthattheyundergoseveralothertests.
Thedelay may be a manifestation of otherphysicalor cognitive problemsthat a child
is experiencing. Forthechildren with justlanguagedelaysordisorderstherapy has proven to be effective (Law et al., 2003).
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