As the new school year starts, I cannot help but think about my bilingual students and how their language proficiency might have shifted over the summer vacation. You may be wondering, what do you mean shifted? Well, before I can explain how my students’ language proficiency might have shifted, we need to talk about the complexity of bilingualism and the bilingual continuum.
It can be super challenging to evaluate a student that speaks a completely different language other than the one you speak. With so many languages that exist in our world, (over 6,500 languages to be exact) as a SLP, you are bound to encounter a student that speaks another language other than English. According to the American Speech Hearing Association (ASHA) only about 6.4% of SLPs speak another language other than English, this may also mean that finding a bilingual SLP that speaks the language you need to assess may not always be accessible. So what do you do?
Working with a Bilingual AAC user for the first time could be a little overwhelming, especially if you are not quite sure where to start. Perhaps you have questions about language choice, modeling, or how to incorporate both languages with your student’s system. Do not panic, here are some helpful tips to remember when working with bilingual AAC users.