A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual

Pesco, Diane and MacLeod, Andrea A A N and Kay-Raining Bird, Elizabeth and Cleave, Patricia and Trudeau, Natacha and de Valenzuela, Julia Scherba and Cain, Kate and Marinova-Todd, Stefka H and Colozzo, Paola and Stahl, Hillary and Segers, Eliane and Verhoeven, Ludo (2016) A multi-site review of policies affecting opportunities for children with developmental disabilities to become bilingual. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63. pp. 15-31. ISSN 0021-9924

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This review of special education and language-in-education policies at six sites in four countries (Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and Netherlands) aimed to determine the opportunities for bilingualism provided at school for children with developmental disabilities (DD). While research has demonstrated that children with DD are capable of learning more than one language (see Kay Raining Bird, Genesee, & Verhoeven, this issue), it was not clear whether recent policies reflect these findings. The review, conducted using the same protocol across sites, showed that special education policies rarely addressed second language learning explicitly. However, at all sites, the policies favoured inclusion and educational planning based on individual needs, and thus implied that students with DD would have opportunities for second language learning. The language-in-education policies occasionally specified the support individuals with special needs would receive. At some sites, policies and educational options provided little support for minority languages, a factor that could contribute to subtractive bilingualism. At others, we found stronger support for minority languages and optional majority languages: conditions that could be more conducive to additive bilingualism.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Communication Disorders
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Communication Disorders. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2016.05.008
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Deposited On:
11 Nov 2016 13:20
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 04:00