Educating Students to Serve
Multilingual-Multicultural Populations
José G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
St John's University
Raquel T. Anderson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Indiana University
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Demographic Information
• Linguistic and cultural diversity are frequent in
today’s world.
• Globalization coupled with new media and
communication technologies (internet and
mobile phones) has intensified social, cultural
and linguistic diversity all over the world
(Blommaert, & Rampton, 2011)
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Demographic Information
• Bilingualism and multilingualism are common
outcomes of multicultural-multilingual diversity.
• Many languages co-exist in a large number of
countries because there are about 6,912 languages
and 200 sovereign states.
• Thus, many individuals must necessarily be bilingual
(speakers of two languages) or multilingual or
polyglots (speakers of more than 2 languages) for
daily interaction in many societies.
(Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Gordon, 2005).
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Demographic Information
The United States: An illustrative case of cultural and
linguistic diversity
• Ethnic/racial minorities
Presently about 34% (102.5 million) of the total
population (301. 6 million)
Expected to be the majority by 2042 and reach 54%
(235.7 million) by 2050
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2002, 2008b).
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Currently…
Hispanics - the largest minority - 15 % (45.5 MM)
Blacks
13.4% (40.7 MM)
Asians
5% (15.2 MM)
American Indians-Alaska Natives 1.5 % (4.5 MM)
Native Hawaiians-Other Pacific Islanders 0.33% (1 MM)
White majority
66% (199.1 MM)
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Currently…
• Many of these individuals may be bilingual
About 47 million (17.9%) persons are estimated
to speak a language other than English at
home, an increase of 15 million people since
1990.
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2006; 2008b).
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Spanish-English Bilingualism in the U.S.:
An Extensive Case of Bilingualism.
• Spanish (used by about 34 million of the total U.S.
population 5 years old and over) - the second most
frequently used language in the country after English
(used by 283 million individuals)
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2008a).
• 11 million (46%) of the Hispanic adults in the U.S.
consider themselves to be Spanish-English bilinguals
(Pew Hispanic Center, 2004).
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Serving Bilingual Clients
• Clinical Goals
Like in monolingual contexts, experiential
background and research evidence must be
systematically considered for clinical decisions.
Yet, in the case of bilingual persons…
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Clinical Goals
1. Accurate assessment
- Language difference vs. Language disorder
2. Personalized intervention
- Effective linguistic/communicative contexts and
realistic cultural norms
(Centeno, 2009, 2010, in press; Centeno & Eng, 2005; Centeno &
Ansaldo, 2013; Martin, 2009).
Fig. 1 – see attachment
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Figure 1. Diagnostic framework for language assessment of bilingual persons (adapted from Centeno,
2010; Centeno & Eng, 2005).
First Language (L1)
Second Language (L2)
Individual Language Acquisition Variables
Frequency and Intensity of Linguistic Input
Contexts of Language Practices
Age of Onset of Language Use
Socioeconomic and Educational Factors
Acculturative Variables
L1-L2 Experiences and Gains
Exposure and Use
Linguistic Mastery/Proficiency
Diagnostic Process
Informants’ Reports
Background Information
Bilingualism History Questionnaire
Assessment Procedures
Formal and Informal Assessment
Diagnosis
Language Difference vs. Language Disorder
Personalized Intervention
Linguistically-/culturally realistic techniques
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Professional Needs
• SLPs serving children and adults from
multicultural/ multilingual backgrounds continue
to experience limitations in the competencies to
serve these individuals.
Realistic training and post-graduate resources
needed!
(ASHA, 2004; Centeno, 2009; Kohnert et al., 2003; RoseberryMckibbin et al., 2005).
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Serving Bilingual Spanish-English
Clients
Linking Research with Professional Training
A. Children
B. Adults with Aphasia
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A. Bilingual Spanish-English Children
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Some facts about ELL/dual language
children in the United States
• 2009 – 55% of all schools enrolled children
who were ELL.
• dual language background
Year
# of children form
dual language
backgrounds
% of school age
population
1980
4.7 million
10.0
2009
11.2 million
21.0
Source: nce.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=96
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Focus on Latino Children
• Latino children make up 22% of all children
under 18 years of age.
• Poverty rates highest for Latino children
– 37% of all children living in poverty (2011)
• Most Latino children are second generation
– 52% children of first generation immigrants (2007)
– 10% first generation foreign born
Pew Hispanic Center (2009, 2011)
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Implications
• Probability is high that clinicians working
with children will have in their caseloads
dual language learners.
• Important
– knowledge base
• language learning among diverse learners
• socio-cultural factors that impact clinical services
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Curricular Models
Model 1
• specific course
• e.g. dual language acquisition in children
• e.g. language and cultural diversity in clinical practice
Model 2
• integration of content throughout the curriculum
• address topic/issues within all child focused courses
Model 3
• specific course + integration of content throughout the
curriculum
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Model 1: Specific Course
• Sample content
(Goldstein, 2011; Paradis et al., 2011)
- patterns of dual language acquisition
• BFLA
• SLA
- dual language learning phenomena
- educational issues
- cultural issues
- assessment
- Intervention
- working with families
- collaboration with other professionals
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Model 2: Integration of Content
• Two approaches
– course content
– case – based
– (both incorporated into the course)
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Some Examples
Course
Content/topics
Activities
Child Language Development
dual language acquisition
BFLA
SLA
language samples for analysis
case studies
readings
Language Disorders in Children Cross-linguistic patterns of
language disability
Assessment of dual language
learners
Best practices – intervention
with dual language learners
comparison of language
samples of typical and atypical
dual language learners
case studies for planning
assessment and/or
intervention
readings
Phonological Development
and Disorders
comparison of language
samples of typical and atypical
dual language learners
case studies for planning
assessment and/or
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intervention
readings
Development in dual language
learners
Cross-linguistic patterns of
phonological acquisition
Best practices – assessment
and intervention of dual
language learners
Model 3
• Integration:
– specific course
– integration of content + activities throughout
the curriculum
• Best practice
– validation of need to acquire the necessary
knowledge
– presents multilingualism not as an exception,
but as an integral component of academic
content.
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Clinical Experience
• Provide opportunities for clinical practica
with linguistically diverse children
– in house (departmental clinic)
– externships/outside placements
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In House
• Remove linguistic and cultural barriers for target clientele
- examples
• language line
• trained interpreters
• marketing within the community
- visibility
• clinic hours
• Collaboration of academic and clinical faculty
- faculty training
- information exchange
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Externships
• Identify agencies/clinics/schools that serve
dual language learners
• Establish collaborations
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Essential
• Integration
– within the curriculum
– academic + clinical experience
– target community + academic program
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B. Bilingual Spanish-English Adults with Aphasia
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Adults with Aphasia
• Hispanic adults are the most frequently
encountered minority group in many
neurorehabilitation programs in the U.S.
(Centeno, 2009; in press)
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Teaching Strategies
• Approaches for content coverage
I. Section in Aphasia course
II. Section in Bilingualism/Diversity course
III. Section in Clinical Assessment course
(ASHA, 2012; Lubinski & Matteliano, 2008)
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Content to cover
Adapt to teaching strategies I, II, or III
 Demographic Info: Bilingualism as a local and
worldwide phenomenon
 General overview of aphasia
 General principles of aphasia in bilingual
individuals
(Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Fabbro, 1999; Gitterman et al., in
press; Goral et al., 2002; Roberts, 2008; Paradis, 2004)
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Content to cover
 Impact of pre-morbid linguistic, communicative,
cognitive, and social background on post-stroke
profile (Fig. 1)
Significance of research on Spanish-English
bilinguals with aphasia:
Factors - Language dominance, expressive
routines, educational background, etc.
(Centeno, in press; Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Juncos-Rabadán,
1994; Muñoz et al., 1999)
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Content to cover
 Clinical procedures:
Assessment & diagnosis
Intervention
(Brozgold & Centeno, 2007; Centeno, 2007a, 2007b; 2010;
Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Juncos-Rabadán, 1994; Kiran &
Edmonds, 2004; Kohnert, 2008, 2009; Muñoz & Marquardt,
2008; Paradis, 2004, 2012; Roberts, 2008)
 Sociocultural and administrative factors: attitudes,
motivations, and healthcare issues
(Centeno, 2007b; Salas-Provance et al., 2002; Zunker &
Cummins, 2004)
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Clinical Experiences
• Direct clinical practice
In-house practicum
External practica
• Indirect experience: videos, observations of
other clinicians
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Conclusions
• Linking of research to clinical training to serve
minority groups is important
• Implementation of training models to accurately
and sensitively work with minority individuals
may only be possible with both professional and
institutional support.
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Educating Students to Serve Multilingual