Publication Date


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First Advisor

Fannin, Danai

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


The United States has seen an increase in the Spanish-speaking population in classrooms, and according to experts, this number is expected to rise in the upcoming years. Currently, the research on bilingual language and speech acquisition is spare. Therefore, over and under identification of communication disorders among bilingual children is not uncommon. The misdiagnosing of these children can lead to schools spending money and resources in unnecessary treatment/therapy (over diagnosed children), or could further hinder the academic success of others (under diagnosed children) by not providing the necessary services. The majority of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the United States are monolingual and they are required, by the ASHA code of Ethics, to provide services to bilingual clients, even if the SLP does not speak the language of the client. Often, the lack of familiarity with the client’s native language can lead to over/under identification of possible communication disorders. In order to provide the best treatment to bilingual children and their families it is important to understand that their language development differs from that of their monolingual peers. Even though there are parallel developmental milestones between monolingual and bilingual toddlers there are still some differences that could affect proper identification of possible communication disorders. The purpose of this paper is to study the speech and language development of bilingual toddlers. I will also conduct a linguistic contrastive analysis to compare the speech development of bilingual toddlers to the speech development of their monolingual peers. A supplemental treatment manual is included to allow the incorporation of bilingualism to play groups and day care of toddlers.


17 pages




Northern Illinois University

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