Working With a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Individual With Specific Learning Disability

Working With a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Individual With Specific Learning Disability

Ruixia Yan (North Carolina Central University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2261-5.ch007
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Abstract

With the constantly rising multilingualism in the United States, cultural and linguistic diversity is gradually becoming more and more present at schools throughout the country. Therefore, there is a critical need for resources to support speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to work with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) clients. This case study examines a CLD client with a diagnosis of specific learning disability (SLD). SLD is a disorder characterized by one or more significant impairments in reading, spelling, writing, or arithmetical skills, which are not the direct result of other disorders or inadequate schooling. This chapter discusses approaches to appropriately assess the client's language skills and provides intervention suggestions to account for the CLD nature of the client and her SLD.
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Introduction

The number of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students has been growing significantly in recent years (Counts, Katsiyannis, & Whitford, 2018). With this quick growth comes an equally critical need for accurate evaluation, effective treatment in speech-language pathology as well as other related services for CLD students in the school system. There is a significant need for resources to support speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to work with CLD clients. Research indicates that specific learning disability (SLD) accounts for 50% of all identified disabilities among CLD populations (Langdon, 2008). SLD is a disorder characterized by one or more significant impairments in reading, spelling, writing, or mathematical skills, which are not the direct result of other disorders or inadequate schooling. This chapter focuses on Nancy, a CLD student with the diagnosis of SLD. The study discusses approaches and strategies to provide appropriate language services for Nancy.

CLD Issues in Communication Disorders

Currently 7,099 languages are spoken in the world (Simons & Fennig, 2017). The use of a language other than English at home is at an all-time high (Simons & Fennig, 2017), and is estimated to continue to increase, particularly in languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian (Rumbaut & Massey, 2013). According to the 2010 American Community Survey (as cites in Rumbaut & Massey, 2013), 20.3% of the U.S. residents reported that they spoke a non-English language at home. It was noted that the percentage of the population who spoke only English by decade between 1980 and 2010 decreased from 89.1% to 79.7% (Rumbaut & Massey, 2013). In 2016, 22% of the children in U.S. spoke a language other than English at home (Kids Count Data Center [KCDC], 2018), and this number increased to 23% in 2017 (KCDC, 2019). According to Migration Policy Institute (2016), CLD students have increased more than 50% over the past decade, and this trend is expected to continue into the next decade. With the rapid multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual growth at schools, classroom teachers and SLPs have a critical role to play in identifying and meeting the needs of all students, including CLD students’ language development and abilities. With this extreme growth in multilingualism comes an equally extreme need for accurate evaluation and effective treatment for CLD children in the school system. SLPs have to adjust to a variety of populations with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds instead of relying on “one-size-fits-all paradigm” (Centeno, 2015; Langdon, 2008, 2015; Levey et al., 2013; Ooi & Wong, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Interprofessional Collaboration: Multiple health care workers from different professional backgrounds that work together with patients, families, etc. to deliver the highest quality of care to patients.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD): A disorder characterized by one or more significant impairments in reading, spelling, writing, or mathematical skills, which are not the direct result of other disorders or inadequate schooling.

Portfolio Assessment: A testing format that contains a collection of performances of a student over time.

Dynamic Assessment: One alternative to standardized testing methods. The concept of dynamic assessment was developed by Vygotsky, and a learning component is integrated with the assessment.

Linguistic Bias: The influence caused by an examiner’s being unfamiliar with the examinee’s culture and/or language.

Disproportionate Representation: Over-representation of CLD individuals as disordered and under-representation of them as gifted.

Content Bias: The influence of a CLD student’s unfamiliarity with language/culture-bound content of the test.

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