Understandings of Speech and Language Practices for Serving Bicultural-Bilingual Children




Garza Garza, Karla C.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Misrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in special education is a continuing issue that requires attention. This is likely occurring due to educators' lack of knowledge, awareness, and/or training to work with diverse populations. The educational needs of CLD students require that schools, teachers, and staff understand the diversity among the student population and provide responsive services. Failing to understand the diverse cultural and linguistic skills of students will likely result in misidentification of CLD students. There are various aspects that play a role in the referral and placement of students in special education. The collection of essays in this dissertation provides insights into current practices that school professionals engage when referring and assessing CLD students' language skills. The first study explores bilingual teachers' knowledge about identification of bilingual students with language disorders using an interview protocol. A mixed methods research design was employed in the second essay to elucidate SLPs' current cultural and linguistic competence and responsiveness practices. The third piece utilizes quantitative analysis to examine the content validity of a pre-referral tool to guide educators in their decision-making process when referring bilingual-bicultural students to special education due to language concerns. In general, the findings show that bilingual teachers and SLPs need further educational experiences for working with bilingual learners who present with language disorders. Additionally, the findings confirm that resources are needed to help practitioners in the referral process of bilingual learners.



Bilingual learners, Language disorders, Bilingual students, Linguistic skills, Educational needs



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies