The Diagnosis of Language Disorders in Bilingual Children Surface-Oriented and Pragmatic Criteria Reports
Reports  |   November 01, 1983
The Diagnosis of Language Disorders in Bilingual Children
 
Author Notes
Article Information
Reports   |   November 01, 1983
The Diagnosis of Language Disorders in Bilingual Children
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1983, Vol. 48, 385-394. doi:10.1044/jshd.4804.385
History: Received January 21, 1982 , Accepted July 4, 1983
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, November 1983, Vol. 48, 385-394. doi:10.1044/jshd.4804.385
History: Received January 21, 1982; Accepted July 4, 1983

Certain pragmatic criteria were compared with traditionally employed surface-oriented criteria for the diagnosis of language disorders in bilingual children. Subjects were 10 Spanish/English bilingual children between 6 and 8 years of age who had been referred by bilingual classroom teachers for a special education evaluation. Spontaneous language samples were obtained from each child in both languages. The samples were transcribed and then examined for normalcy according to surface-oriented criteria and pragmatic criteria. The surface elements examined in both languages included morphological and syntactic structures. The pragmatic criteria included nonfluencies, revisions, delays, specificity of referential terms, abrupt topic shifts, inappropriate responses, and the need for multiple repetition of prompts. As expected, it was possible to demonstrate that the two sets of criteria identified different subgroups as language disordered. To test the accuracy of the disparate diagnoses, academic achievement was tested both before and after an average of 7 months of mainstreaming in essentially monolingual English classroom settings. Teacher ratings of English language development and socialization were also examined before and after the 7-month period. Results revealed that the pragmatic criteria were superior predictors of both achievement and teacher ratings. Traditional diagnostic criteria appear to need supplementation by pragmatic criteria.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access