Will Providing Speech and Language Therapy in a Child’s Home Language Positively Impact Their Language Proficiency?
Children with language impairments should have access to culturally and linguistically aware services that will scaffold the needs of the whole child. There is a growing need for bilingual Speech and language Pathologists (SLPs) in the field that can support the language needs of children whose dominant language is not English. However, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), when 6.1% of ASHA members and affiliates identify as Hispanic or Latino, in contrast to 16.3% of the U.S. population that identifies as Hispanic or Latino, it is clear why Latino families raising bilingual children might not have access to bilingual therapy for their children (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The goal of this research proposal is to outline future research that will focus on the effects of children’s progress in therapy when their home languages are supported in therapy. For an academic year (10 months), 135 children will be divided into 3 groups of 45 students. Children in group A are native English speakers receiving therapy in English, while group B and C will have Spanish-speaking children. However, children in group B will only receive therapy in English while group C will receive intervention services in Spanish. The goal of the study is to explore if implementing the child’s dominant language as the primary language of intervention in a Speech and Language Therapy setting results in significant improvements in the child’s overall speech development.