Multilingual speech and language development and disorders

Helen Grech, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of people in the world understands and speaks more than one language. Multilingualism is supported by the media, mobility (both legal and illegal), international economics, global literacy initiatives, progress in information technology, the drive for lifelong learning, and many other factors. Within this chapter different definitions of multilingualism will be explained; particularly relating to concepts such as successive and sequential multilingualism, and language proficiency. Reasons children are multilingual will be discussed, with particular emphasis on international migration. Features of typical and atypical speech and language acquisition will be contrasted. This will be followed by a discussion of the challenges related to assessment and differential diagnosis to distinguish between difference and disorder in multilingual children. Intervention strategies particularly, regarding the language/s of instruction and whether instruction in one language is able to be generalized to another will also be discussed. Finally, recommendations for future research will be provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunication disorders in multicultural and international populations
EditorsDolores E Battle
Place of PublicationSt Louis, Missouri
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780323087124, 9780323082471
ISBN (Print)9780323066990
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Grant Number

  • FT0990588


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