1st Edition

Working with Children Experiencing Speech and Language Disorders in a Bilingual Context A Home Language Approach

By Sean Pert Copyright 2023
    318 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    318 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    The complexity of speech and language disorders can be daunting in a monolingual context. When working with a bilingual child assessment and intervention may appear to be even more complicated. In this book Sean Pert provides the reader with the tools needed to overcome this perception and develop skills in working in a language that they don’t share with the client.  

    By adopting a home language first approach the book discusses how to:

    • identify diversity from disorder
    • introduce effective approaches in line with the best clinical practice
    • work successfully alongside interpreters
    • make assessments and plan interventions
    • set goals for therapy.

    At the heart of the text is the therapist creating essential partnerships with parents and truly valuing the bilingualism, culture and identity of the child. This leads to better outcomes, not only in speech, language and communication, but also in self-esteem, mental health, social participation and educational and employment success.

    The book concludes with a handy toolkit of resources including quizzes, case studies and printable extras making it the perfect resource for both experienced and newly qualified practitioners with bilingual and multilingual children in their care.

    List of contributors

    List of tables

    List of figures



    List of acronyms and abbreviations



    Definitions and terminology

    Differentiating language disorder from language difference

    Working alongside interpreters

    Translation protocol

    Language assessment and intervention in home language

    Speech sound disorder in a bilingual context

    Alternative and augmentative communication


    Lizzie Sadiku, AAC Consultant

    Katherine Small, AAC Consultant

    Suzanne Martin, AAC Consultant

    Cultural inquisitiveness and the bilingual service delivery checklist

    Barriers to working with bilingual children and how to overcome them


    Dr Carol Stow



    Sean Pert (he/him) worked in the NHS for almost 20 years, in one of the few departments to deliver a speech and language therapy service exclusively in the family’s home language or mother tongue. He provided a service to children with the most severe and complex speech and language disorders and shares his specialist knowledge as a trainer both in the UK and internationally. He is currently a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Manchester, and a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist. A three-times joint winner of the Sternberg Award for Clinical Innovation, Sean is the Service Lead for the Voice and Communication Therapy Team, Indigo Gender Service, and Chair of the Board for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. See his full biography at www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/sean.pert.html

    "For many practitioners, working with bilingual children can seem daunting. This book goes a long way towards dispelling such worries by providing detailed practical information and guidance on how to proceed while also giving clear explanations as to why certain approaches should be taken. Examples of assessment pro-formas, questionnaires and charts (for example for working out the amount of interpreter time needed) are provided which should be invaluable. Additionally, it is recognised that many SLTs will work in situations where providing an equitable service is challenging; the book empowers practitioners to fight for necessary resources within the context of current societal issues around diversity, equality, and racism." - Carolyn Letts, Senior Research Investigator, Newcastle University, https://www.ncl.ac.uk/ecls/people/profile/carolynletts.html

    "This timely and important book should be read by all paediatric Speech and Language Therapists/Speech Pathologists in practice and in training. In "Working with Children Experiencing Speech and Language Disorders in a Bilingual Context: A home language approach" Dr Sean Pert provides extensive and highly practical advice for clinical practice covering issue of assessment, diagnosis and intervention in language and speech sound disorders. Importantly this book unpacks aspects of best practice which are rarely documented, such as working with interpreters and the use of AAC for languages other than English when many systems and devices are designed with English only in mind.

    Perhaps most important however is the powerful challenge Dr Pert poses our profession to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that much of our current practice for bilingual families is systematically and institutionally racist. Together with an analysis of the barriers which need to be overcome and a call for anti-racist and culturally inquisitive practice this book provides the profession with a platform and tools to move forward towards equity and social justice for children experiencing Speech and Language Disorders in a Bilingual Context." - Cristina McKean, BSc MSc PhD, Professor of Child Language Development and Disorders, Newcastle University

    "The publication of this book is timely and urgent, as it presents an accessible tool for working in a bilingual context, reflecting on the interaction between the needs of our society and the requirement for SLT services to develop and evolve. This book is an essential resource for SLT courses and for clinicians developing extra training and extra materials."Maria Garraffa, Associate Professor in Speech and Language Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, UK