Hundreds of languages are spoken by bilingual children across the country; however, most research on bilingualism focuses exclusively on Spanish–English speakers. Clinicians working with other emergent bilinguals may find little evidence to inform their language assessments. The latest forum in the ASHA Journals can help!

This forum in Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups highlights a number of these understudied languages. The articles aim to help ASHA members provide linguistically responsive assessments tailored to specific language communities. Learn more about the articles compiled by Editor Danai Kasambira Fannin below.

Understudied Languages 

The forum opens with an introduction from Kasambira Fannin, explaining the current research needs and introducing the articles. Next, Saban-Dülger and Özcebe highlight the unique linguistic features of Turkish and the implications for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) assessing developmental language disorders in young children.

In Hawaii, Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole) is an integral part of the cultural fabric. Schwartz shows how culturally attuned assessment practices can respect and incorporate the language’s nuances. Then, Babatsouli discusses the importance of considering the broader cultural context in which Greek-dominant speakers live and communicate. After that, Yang and Resendiz compare the sound systems of English and Mandarin and demonstrate special considerations for assessing speech in Mandarin–English bilinguals.

Namazi and Salehomoum provide a tutorial for SLPs assessing emerging bilingual children who speak Farsi. Then, Roepke and Alvi examine the growing Urdu-speaking population in the United States and how clinicians can accurately reflect the linguistic profile during assessments.

The forum concludes with two articles focusing on Caribbean languages. First, Moss and Timler use three examples to show a contextualized assessment approach in bilingual children who speak Bahamian Creole English. In the final article of the forum, Franklin and colleagues present typical consonant and vowel variation for Anguillan Caribbean English speakers.

Quality Assessment For All!

The languages featured in this forum represent a sample of the hundreds of languages and dialects spoken by millions across the United States. We hope that further research can help ASHA members provide quality language assessments and other services to all people, regardless of the languages they speak at home.

We’d like to thank Danai Kasambira Fannin for bringing this forum to readers of Perspectives. Dr. Fannin serves as Perspectives editor for Special Interest Group (SIG) 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity. We’d also like to thank all of the authors and reviewers who worked to make this research available to clinicians.

You can read more articles from SIG 14, and learn more about cultural and linguistic diversity, on their Affiliate Focus Page. In addition to this forum, the latest issue of Perspectives contains articles on topics across the professions—topics such as stuttering and telepractice—and even more articles from SIG 14! You can read this forum in Perspectives or explore the individual articles in the forum below.

Explore the Forum

Babatsouli, E. (2024). Ecosystemic clinical assessment of linguistic diversity: Greek-dominant speech. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 692–714.

Fannin, D. K. (2024). Introduction to the forum: Assessment of understudied languages. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 652–654.

Franklin, A. D., Turner, C., Lindsay Nurse, K. T., & Arline, C. (2024). Productions of Goldman-Fristoe test of articulation–Third edition stimulus words among teenage speakers of Anguillian Eastern Caribbean English. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 779–794.

Moss, D., & Timler, G. R. (2024). Assessing the language abilities of Bahamian Creole English–speaking children. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 767–778.

Namazi, M., & Salehomoum, M. (2024). Assessment in Farsi–English emerging bilingual children: A tutorial. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 738–753.

Roepke, E., & Alvi, H. (2024). Speech and language assessment for Urdu speakers in the United States. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 754–766.

Saban-Dülger, N. S., & Özcebe, E. (2024). Language assessment in bilingual Turkish-speaking preschoolers with developmental language disorders: A tutorial. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 655–673.

Schwartz, B. F. (2024). “We pau?”: Culturally responsive language assessment of Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole)–speaking children. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 674–691.

Yang, J., & Resendiz, M. D. (2024). Assessing speech production in Mandarin–English bilingual children: Comparison of Mandarin and English sound systems and special considerations. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 9(3), 715–737.