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Appropriate Providers for a Multilingual/Multicultural Speaker

Teresa Signorelli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

September 15, 2014

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Question

Who is an appropriate provider for a multilingual/multicultural speaker?

Answer

One might argue that the ideal clinician would speak the same language as the child or the patient.  Certainly the clinician needs to have native or native-like proficiency.  They would have to have certain knowledge and skills outlined by ASHA (https://www.asha.org/policy/KS2004-00215.htm; 2004).  They need to meet any state and federal requirements as well.  That is not always possible and there are alternatives if the clinician does not speak the language or come from the culture of the patient being assessed.  

As an Alternative Provider, the clinician still needs to follow the ASHA knowledge and skills mentioned above as well as the features and developmental characteristics of the language or dialect of the individual being assessed.  The clinician would also need to understand and have knowledge of any cultural and linguistic influences that could be applied to the client.

Teresa M. Signorelli, PhD, CCC-SLP is a bilingual-certified speech-language pathologist. She is the Director of the Communication and Learning Center and the Neurodevelopment and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Marymount Manhattan College. Her clinical work and research has focused on multilingualism across the age span.


teresa signorelli

Teresa Signorelli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Teresa M. Signorelli, PhD, CCC-SLP is a bilingual-certified speech-language pathologist. She is the Director of the Communication and Learning Center and the Neurodevelopment and Rehabilitation Laboratory at Marymount Manhattan College. Her clinical work and research has focused on multilingualism across the age span. She recently edited and contributed two articles to a Special Series in Cognitive Processes in Simultaneous Interpreters for the International Journal of Bilingualism.


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