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The Stepping Stones Group - Opportunities - November 2023

What is a bilingual versus a cross-lingustic approach to intervention of speech sound disorders? 

Raul F. Prezas, PhD, CCC-SLP, PNAP

December 1, 2023

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Question

What is a bilingual versus a cross-lingustic approach to intervention of speech sound disorders? 

Answer

The bilingual approach focuses on addressing language constructs that are common to both languages. This typically involves working on shared sounds like /p, b, m, w, t, d, k, g, l/. We begin by targeting these shared sounds in the bilingual approach. A cross-linguistic approach emphasizes skills that are unique to each language. For instance, if a child speaks both Spanish and English and the clinician is proficient in both languages, we can use a cross-linguistic approach to address specific sounds like the Spanish trilled /r/ or the American /r/ in English. This approach allows us to work on unshared sounds in each language.

For clinicians who are monolingual they can focus on addressing sounds that are unique to the English language without the need to target the language-specific sounds of other languages. Some clinicians take a creative approach by pairing younger students with older students who are fluent in the target language. This arrangement enables the younger students to practice and hear models of the older students, especially when they are intelligible in both languages but may have language impairments.

Another strategy discussed by Gina Glover involves labeling objects in the therapy room in the target language. For example, labeling a chair as "silla" in Spanish or a table as "mesa." This approach demonstrates an effort to meet students halfway and shows that we are making an attempt to connect with them. Even simple gestures like greeting families in their native language, especially if we don't speak the language fluently, can be highly impactful for families and students.

Importantly, there is evidence suggesting that intervention in one language can have a positive impact on the other language, indicating the potential for cross-linguistic generalization.

This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from the course, Phonological Intervention for Multilingual Children: Expanding the Cycles Approach presented by Raul Prezas, PhD CCC-SLP, PNAP.


raul f prezas

Raul F. Prezas, PhD, CCC-SLP, PNAP

Raul Prezas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Lamar University in Texas. He has 15+ years of clinical experience in the university, public school, and home health settings; particularly working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. His interests include speech disorders, phonological development, bilingual/multilingual assessment and treatment, working with children with highly unintelligible speech, multilingual phonological treatment models/outcomes, school-based issues, and working with underrepresented students. 


Related Courses

Phonological Intervention for Multilingual Children: Expanding the Cycles Approach
Presented by Raul F. Prezas, PhD, CCC-SLP, PNAP
Video

Presenter

Raul F. Prezas, PhD, CCC-SLP, PNAP
Course: #10717Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Great resources for languages other than Spanosh'   Read Reviews
Implementation of a Cycles pattern-oriented approach for multilingual children with highly unintelligible speech is described in this course. Topics include: speech-sound intervention practices for Spanish-English speakers and speakers of other languages, including recommendations for monolingual clinicians; target selection; and strategies for working with families.

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  'The course was presented in a logical manner allowing the learner to be able to really follow and understand the content'   Read Reviews
Utilizing a bilingual framework, this course explores the implementation of a Cycles Approach for highly unintelligible bilingual (Spanish-English) speakers as well as speakers of several other languages. Topics include critical components of a bilingual approach, treatment targets for Spanish-English and multilingual speakers, and strategies for working with multilingual families.

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  'Immediately applicable and relevant information for multilingual caseload with bilingual students who are highly unintelligible'   Read Reviews
This course provides an overview of the Cycles Phonological Remediation Approach for children with highly unintelligible speech. Discussion includes selection of optimal phonological patterns and targets, implementation and consideration of both a traditional and modified Cycles Approach, and group therapy strategies.

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Due to speech-language pathologist shortages and more diverse caseloads, monolingual SLPs are increasingly being asked to serve multilingual pediatric populations. Practical resources for conducting a comprehensive evaluation and use of the resulting information to differentiate communication differences and disorders are described in this course. Common questions and challenges, such as use of interpreters, are also discussed.

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