Semin Speech Lang 2015; 36(02): 133-142
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1549108
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Dual Language Intervention for Bilinguals at Risk for Language Impairment

Mirza J. Lugo-Neris
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
,
Lisa M. Bedore
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
,
Elizabeth D. Peña
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 April 2015 (online)

Abstract

Selecting the initial language of intervention for bilingual children at risk for language impairment is challenging for clinicians, as both the home and academic languages are important for children's successful communication. In this project, six Spanish–English bilingual first graders at risk for language impairment participated in an 8-week intervention program targeting vocabulary, morphosyntax, narrative, and literacy skills in both Spanish and English. Children completed 24 small-group sessions (three times a week). One group received Spanish intervention first, then English, and another group received English first, then Spanish. The systematic use of both languages in intervention resulted in overall gains in vocabulary and narrative skills in this short-term intervention. Language condition groups differed in performance on oral narratives and semantics. Clinical recommendations for selecting the initial language of intervention are discussed.