Assessment of Bilingual Children and English Language Learners

presented by Laura Epstein & Betty Yu

Accreditation Check:

Children from minority-language backgrounds are disproportionately represented in Special Education and lack access to equitable services to support their needs. A significant contributor to the problem is that speech-language pathologists and teachers often have difficulties distinguishing between what are typical behaviors in second language learning and what are indicators of language disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an assessment framework for differentiating between language differences and language disorders. This course will provide a framework for assessing bilingual children and children who are English language learners. This course will also provide case examples of assessments in the family setting and in the school setting. This course is second of three courses on bilingualism. In the next course, bilingualism in children with communication disabilities are discussed.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Laura Epstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

    Laura Epstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor, Program Coordinator and School Internship Coordinator at San Francisco State University. Her research and clinical focus is on Spanish-bilingual language development/disorders and inclusion. She was California Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention Program Co-Chair, 2014 & 2015, and Volunteer Committee Co-Chair in 2016. She was awarded the CSHA Diversity Award, 2011, and received the California Healthcare Foundation Leadership Fellowship, 2010.

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  • Betty Yu, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

    Betty Yu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education & Communicative Disorders. Before joining the faculty at San Francisco State, she practiced as a speech-language therapist primarily serving young children and their families in minority communities. Her research interest is in how children's language development interfaces with the development of sociocultural competence. Her current research focuses on the communication experiences of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families within bilingual contexts. She is a member of the Conversation Analysis Research in Autism (CARA) research group. She teaches courses related to language development, atypical language development, cultural and linguistic diversity, intervention in young children, and counseling in Communicative Disorders. The emphasis of her clinical instruction is on the provision of family-centered services to support communication development in children on the autism spectrum. She is the co-director of Project Common Ground, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare speech-language therapists to work effectively with diverse children on the autism spectrum.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Language Differences versus Language Disorders: A Framework for Assessment

    1. Language Differences versus Language Disorders: A Framework for Assessment

    In this chapter you will learn what disproportionality defined as and what are the federal requirements and ASHA guidelines for the assessment of children who speak languages in addition to English. You will also cover the decision-making points that determine whether a child is most likely showing a language difference or a language disorder.

  2. Family-Centered Assessment Case Study & Demonstration

    2. Family-Centered Assessment Case Study & Demonstration

    This chapter will demonstrate a family-centered assessment process that incorporates the ecologically-focused, integrated functional assessment.

  3. School-Responsive Assessment Case Study & Demonstration

    3. School-Responsive Assessment Case Study & Demonstration

    This chapter will demonstrate a school-responsive assessment process that incorporates the ecologically-focused, integrated functional assessment.

  4. Q&A Discussion

    4. Q&A Discussion

    A question and answer session with the instructors and a student in her clinical fellowship year discussing what was covered in the course.