Bilingualism and Students (Learners) With Intellectual Disability: A Review

Ware, J. and Lye, C.B. and Kyffin, F. (2015) Bilingualism and Students (Learners) With Intellectual Disability: A Review. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 12 (3). 220–231. DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12124

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The authors explored the interface between bilingualism and the education of students with intellectual disability (ID) through a review of the English language literature. Little substantive research endeavor was found connecting the two areas. We interpreted the term �bilingual� as including both children from bilingual homes (simultaneous bilinguals) and children being educated through a language other than the language of their home (sequential or late bilinguals). Six main themes were identified in the literature: (1) assessment, (2) staff preparation and training, (3) academic progress and supporting bilingual students with ID, (4) advice to families on bilingual upbringing and education, (5) communication development, and (6) policy. Considerable progress in assessing bilingual students for ID has been made in the last decade, and good practice guidelines have been developed; however, there is still a paucity of appropriate assessment tools. Disproportionality remains a problem, but research shows that it is a more complex problem than simply overcoming the problem of differentiating between language difficulties and ID. There is strong evidence that children who are in the process of becoming bilingual make better progress when initially supported through their L1; this is likely to be equally applicable to students with ID. Professionals continue to advise parents against bilingualism for children with ID, although there is little evidence either for or against bilingualism for students with ID. Research should concentrate on how bilingual children with ID can be supported to develop skills in both their languages, and on ensuring that children with ID who are becoming bilingual are supported academically.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Education
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 02:31
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2015 02:31
ISSN: 1741-1122
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5681
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12124
Publisher: Wiley
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