Crutchley, Alison (2000) Bilingual children in language units: does having 'well-informed' parents make a difference? International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 35 (1). pp. 65-81. ISSN 13682822

Findings from a large-cohort study of children with speech and language impairments in language units attached to primary schools across England have suggested that the 11% of the cohort who were bilingual form a subgroup with distinct characteristics. In particular, bilingual children's language difficulties seemed to be more complex and possibly more severe than those of their monolingual peers. It was suggested that these findings might reflect differences in the way that the bilingual children were identified and assessed for speech and language difficulties. Parents of the bilingual children in the original study were interviewed to explore the kind of experiences they had with the identification and assessment process. Differences were found between the bilingual parents and a group of monolingual parents who were also interviewed. Moreover, differences were found between two subgroups of the bilingual parents: those who were 'more informed' and 'less informed' about the process. These differences were found to be related to several other factors, including attitudes to language use within the family and the nature of the parents' relationship with the language unit.

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