Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Nancy Paul


K-12, rural, North Dakota, Upper Midwest, speech sound, AAC


In the state of Minnesota, more children who use a language other than English were reported to speak English less than “very well” (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). There was neither a “gold standard” (Verdon, McLeod, & Wong, 2013), nor Preferred Practices (ASHA, 2020) for the treatment of speech-language disorders for children who were bilingual. The current study investigated the practices for treating speech-language disorders in this population by SLPs employed in schools in a region of west-central MN and eastern ND. Using an interpreter, and explicit instruction on targeted language skills were the most common clinical approaches utilized. The child’s relative proficiency in his/her languages was by far the most impactful factor in selecting the treatment language, yet most SLPs only used their L1 during interventions. Using the same treatment strategies as for monolingual children was the most commonly shared strategy, yet using interpreters and collaborating with the ELL teacher were the most commonly shared facilitators for treating this population. The most common barrier was a general lack of reliable access to bilingual support personnel. Overall, participants felt their training did not prepare them well for treating speech-language disorders in this population. Clinical implications related to the importance of educating SLPs and developing a base of research in intervention strategies for speech-language disorders for children who were bilingual.



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