Introduction

We are a group of academic researchers at the universities of Bangor, Edinburgh, Leeds, Plymouth, Oxford and Reading interested in the assessment of the language development of bilingual children. We are conducting a survey to learn more about the availability of resources for the early identification of developmental language disorders in this population.

With over 200 languages spoken in the UK, there are an increasing number of children who are learning English as an additional language. Such bilingual children can have language development profiles that are quite different from monolingual peers, putting them at risk of under- or over-referral for a developmental language disorder.

Our research indicates that practitioners can find it difficult to assess bilinguals' language development because most current tools are designed for monolingual children. Through this pilot survey, we would like to assess what your current practices are when encountering bilingual children. We want to identify areas of needs, with the aim of creating better resources to support your work and that of other practitioners.

The term bilingual in the questionnaire is used to include children with English as an additional language (EAL). These can be children who grow up with one language in the home (e.g. Polish) and learn English through schooling and/or the wider community. It may also include children who grow up learning English and another language within the family, from birth.

In this questionnaire, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, we will first ask you about your assessment practices in general (for all children), and then about any special provision for bilingual children. All responses will be analysed and reported anonymously and confidentially in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

This study has been approved by the Plymouth University ethics committee. There are no known risk to taking part.
For any comments or questions about this survey, or to exercise your right to withdraw once your have completed the questionnaire, please contact Dr Caroline Floccia, School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, caroline.floccia@plymouth.ac.uk

If you have any further concerns or feel that your issues have not been addressed, you can also contact the secretary of Health and Human Sciences Ethics Committee: Sarah Jones, sarah.c.jones@plymouth.ac.uk

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