Second-Language Learning This letter is written in response to “Dispelling the Myths of Second-Language Learning” (March 15, 2011). Bilingualism is a normal phenomenon and even very young children are conscious of this fact. Indeed, very young children can communicate in two or more languages and respond in the language in which ... Inbox
Free
Inbox  |   May 01, 2011
Second-Language Learning
Author Notes
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Inbox
Inbox   |   May 01, 2011
Second-Language Learning
The ASHA Leader, May 2011, Vol. 16, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.16052011.2
The ASHA Leader, May 2011, Vol. 16, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.IN1.16052011.2
Second-Language Learning
This letter is written in response to “Dispelling the Myths of Second-Language Learning” (March 15, 2011). Bilingualism is a normal phenomenon and even very young children are conscious of this fact. Indeed, very young children can communicate in two or more languages and respond in the language in which they are addressed.Also, there are more bilingual than monolingual individuals living on our planet.
I agree with Deborah Jill Chitester that all SLPs should be well-prepared to work effectively with multilingual and multicultural students and clients. But, isn’t this an area that ASHA has been promoting for more than 40 years? There is more to add to the information conveyed in this initial important message. SLPs should assess and provide intervention plans for bilingual clients, taking into consideration their linguistic backgrounds and their experiences. Even those of us who are proficient in several languages must assess clients whose languages we don’t know and, therefore, we should learn to work effectively with interpreters and translators. We should not tell parents, families, or caregivers to switch to English because two languages are confusing and using more English will translate into greater progress.Instead, we should counsel those individuals to continue using the language they feel most comfortable communicating in with their loved ones. Ongoing research indicates that individuals with various communication challenges can express themselves in two languages. Bilingualism does not delay or interfere with language and learning acquisition. This information should be disseminated to physicians and other health professionals.
Henriette W. Langdon San José, California
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2011
Volume 16, Issue 5