October 2021 International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 57(3)
DOI:10.1111/1460-6984.12674 Linda Mulgrew, Orla Duffy, Lynda Kennedy
Background: An increasing number of children in the UK and Ireland are growing up speaking more than one language. The many advantages of bilingualism are acknowledged; however, this increased linguistic diversity presents particular challenges for speech and language therapists (SLTs). The case is often more complex with speakers of minority languages such as Welsh and Irish, which are acquired almost exclusively in bilingual contexts. Lack of appropriate standardized assessments for bilinguals is a key issue for SLTs internationally; however, little is known about the practices, personal perspectives or wider challenges faced by SLTs in assessing minority language skills. We focus on SLTs working with English-Irish bilinguals across Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) where status, use and exposure to Irish differ significantly.
Aims: To investigate the perceptions and practices of SLTs in NI and the ROI in the assessment of bilingual English-Irish-speaking children.