“But They Don’t Speak English!”: Bilingual Students and Speech-Language Services in Public Schools Bilingual and multilingual students constitute an increasing percentage of caseloads of school-based speech-language pathologists. The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, 1997)  stipulates that services for these students must adhere to strict legal rules. They include the requirement to assess performance abilities of specific areas tested rather than the students’ ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2003
“But They Don’t Speak English!”: Bilingual Students and Speech-Language Services in Public Schools
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Olga Z. Roninson
    Maine Township Early Childhood Center, Des Plaines, IL
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2003
“But They Don’t Speak English!”: Bilingual Students and Speech-Language Services in Public Schools
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, April 2003, Vol. 4, 42-46. doi:10.1044/sbi4.1.42
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, April 2003, Vol. 4, 42-46. doi:10.1044/sbi4.1.42
Bilingual and multilingual students constitute an increasing percentage of caseloads of school-based speech-language pathologists. The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, 1997)  stipulates that services for these students must adhere to strict legal rules. They include the requirement to assess performance abilities of specific areas tested rather than the students’ English proficiency. How do we, as professionals in the field of communication disorders, fulfill this mandate, especially when serving children speaking as many as 40 to 60 languages in one school district?
First, let’s review some terminology. Current literature, as well as policy documents, employ a variety of terms to refer to this group of students. Some of these terms are presented (and deciphered) below:
  • CL(A)D and LCD—Cultur-ally Linguistically (Academically) Diverse

  • LEP—Limited English Proficient

  • PEP—Potentially English Proficient

  • ELL—English Language Learner

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