Considering Arrested Language Development and Language Loss in the Assessment of Second Language Learners The evaluation of a child who is a second language learner should include an evaluation of the primary language (e.g., Spanish) as well as English. However, the discovery that a child is deficient in both languages does not necessarily mean that the child is not a normal language learner. The ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 1992
Considering Arrested Language Development and Language Loss in the Assessment of Second Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Naomi B. Schiff-Myers
    Montclair State College, Upper Montclair, NJ
  • Requests for reprints may be sent to Naomi Schiff-Myers, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Montclair State College, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043.
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 1992
Considering Arrested Language Development and Language Loss in the Assessment of Second Language Learners
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1992, Vol. 23, 28-33. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2301.28
History: Received January 17, 1991 , Accepted April 25, 1991
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1992, Vol. 23, 28-33. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2301.28
History: Received January 17, 1991; Accepted April 25, 1991

The evaluation of a child who is a second language learner should include an evaluation of the primary language (e.g., Spanish) as well as English. However, the discovery that a child is deficient in both languages does not necessarily mean that the child is not a normal language learner. The dialect and other variations of the language used in the child’s home may be different from the standard language used in the assessment. Furthermore, the learning of a second language before competency in the first language is fully developed may result in arrested development or loss of proficiency in the primary language. This negative effect on the primary language occurs most often if the native language is devalued.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The writing of this article was partially supported by funds allocated for career development at Montclair State College. I would like to thank Margaret Lahey for her constructive criticisms on an earlier version of the manuscript.
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