The Development of English as a Second Language With and Without Specific Language Impairment: Clinical Implications Purpose The purpose of this research forum article is to provide an overview of typical and atypical development of English as a second language (L2) and to present strategies for clinical assessment with English language learners (ELLs). Method A review of studies examining the lexical, morphological, narrative, and ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   February 01, 2016
The Development of English as a Second Language With and Without Specific Language Impairment: Clinical Implications
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Johanne Paradis
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Johanne Paradis: johanne.paradis@ualberta.ca
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Mabel Rice
    Editor and Associate Editor: Mabel Rice×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Forum: SLI, ADHD, ASD, CI, Bilingualism, and Bidialectism
Research Forum   |   February 01, 2016
The Development of English as a Second Language With and Without Specific Language Impairment: Clinical Implications
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 171-182. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0008
History: Received January 7, 2015 , Revised July 3, 2015 , Accepted July 17, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2016, Vol. 59, 171-182. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0008
History: Received January 7, 2015; Revised July 3, 2015; Accepted July 17, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The purpose of this research forum article is to provide an overview of typical and atypical development of English as a second language (L2) and to present strategies for clinical assessment with English language learners (ELLs).

Method A review of studies examining the lexical, morphological, narrative, and verbal memory abilities of ELLs is organized around 3 topics: timeframe and characteristics of typical English L2 development, comparison of the English L2 development of children with and without specific language impairment (SLI), and strategies for more effective assessment with ELLs.

Results ELLs take longer than 3 years to converge on monolingual norms and approach monolingual norms asynchronously across linguistic subdomains. Individual variation is predicted by age, first language, language learning aptitude, length of exposure to English in school, maternal education, and richness of the English environment outside school. ELLs with SLI acquire English more slowly than ELLs with typical development; their morphological and nonword repetition abilities differentiate them the most. Use of strategies such as parent questionnaires on first language development and ELL norm referencing can result in accurate discrimination of ELLs with SLI.

Conclusions Variability in the language abilities of ELLs presents challenges for clinical practice. Increased knowledge of English language learning development with and without SLI together with evidence-based alternative assessment strategies can assist in overcoming these challenges.

Acknowledgments
I acknowledge my appreciation of the funding agencies whose support made this research possible: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, and the Alberta Center for Child, Family and Community Research. I thank the student assistants who have contributed to the research reported in this research forum article: Kyla Coole, Kristyn Emmerzael, Ruiting Jia, Karen Kiddel, Katryna Lysay, Dorothy Pinto, Tamara Sorenson Duncan, Yasemin Tulpar, James Watson-Gaze, Emily Yiu, and Tatiana Zdorenko. I also thank the Multicultural Health-Brokers Cooperative, Edmonton Public Schools, and the Toronto Catholic District School Board for their collaboration in this research.
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