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Educating Students to Serve Multilingual-Multicultural Populations. José G. Centeno , Ph.D., CCC-SLP St John\'s University Raquel T. Anderson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Indiana University. Demographic Information. Linguistic and cultural diversity are frequent in today’s world.

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educating students to serve multilingual multicultural populations

Educating Students to Serve Multilingual-Multicultural Populations

José G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

St John\'s University

Raquel T. Anderson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Indiana University

demographic information
Demographic Information
  • Linguistic and cultural diversity are frequent in today’s world.
  • Globalization coupled with new media and communication technologies (internet and mobile phones) has intensified social, cultural and linguistic diversity all over the world

(Blommaert, & Rampton, 2011)

demographic information1
Demographic Information
  • Bilingualism and multilingualism are common outcomes of multicultural-multilingual diversity.
  • Many languages co-exist in a large number of countries because there are about 6,912 languages and 200 sovereign states.
  • Thus, many individuals must necessarily be bilingual (speakers of two languages) or multilingual or polyglots (speakers of more than 2 languages) for daily interaction in many societies.

(Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Gordon, 2005).

demographic information2
Demographic Information

The United States: An illustrative case of cultural and linguistic diversity

  • Ethnic/racial minorities

Presently about 34% (102.5 million) of the total population (301. 6 million)

Expected to be the majority by 2042 and reach 54% (235.7 million) by 2050

(U.S. Census Bureau, 2002, 2008b).


Hispanics - the largest minority - 15 % (45.5 MM)

Blacks 13.4% (40.7 MM)

Asians 5% (15.2 MM)

American Indians-Alaska Natives 1.5 % (4.5 MM)

Native Hawaiians-Other Pacific Islanders 0.33% (1 MM)

White majority 66% (199.1 MM)

  • Many of these individuals may be bilingual

About47 million (17.9%) persons are estimated to speak a language other than English at home, an increase of 15 million people since 1990.

(U.S. Census Bureau, 2006; 2008b).

spanish english bilingualism in the u s an extensive case of bilingualism
Spanish-English Bilingualism in the U.S.: An Extensive Case of Bilingualism.
  • Spanish (used by about 34 million of the total U.S. population 5 years old and over) - the second most frequently used language in the country after English (used by 283 million individuals)

(U.S. Census Bureau, 2008a).  

  • 11 million (46%) of the Hispanic adults in the U.S. consider themselves to be Spanish-English bilinguals

(Pew Hispanic Center, 2004).

serving bilingual clients
Serving Bilingual Clients
  • Clinical Goals

Like in monolingual contexts, experiential background and research evidence must be systematically considered for clinical decisions.

Yet, in the case of bilingual persons…

clinical goals
Clinical Goals
  • Accurate assessment
    • Language difference vs. Language disorder
  • Personalized intervention
    • Effective linguistic/communicative contexts and realistic cultural norms

(Centeno, 2009, 2010, in press; Centeno & Eng, 2005; Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Martin, 2009).

Fig. 1 – see attachment

professional needs
Professional Needs
  • SLPs serving children and adults from multicultural/ multilingual backgrounds continue to experience limitations in the competencies to serve these individuals.

Realistic training and post-graduate resources needed!

(ASHA, 2004; Centeno, 2009; Kohnert et al., 2003; Roseberry- Mckibbin et al., 2005).

serving bilingual spanish english clients
Serving Bilingual Spanish-English Clients

Linking Research with Professional Training

A. Children

B. Adults with Aphasia

some facts about ell dual language children in the united states
Some facts about ELL/dual language children in the United States
  • 2009 – 55% of all schools enrolled children who were ELL.
  • dual language background


focus on latino c hildren
Focus on Latino Children
  • Latino children make up 22% of all children under 18 years of age.
  • Poverty rates highest for Latino children
    • 37% of all children living in poverty (2011)
  • Most Latino children are second generation
    • 52% children of first generation immigrants (2007)
    • 10% first generation foreign born

Pew Hispanic Center (2009, 2011)

  • Probability is high that clinicians working with children will have in their caseloads dual language learners.
  • Important
    • knowledge base
      • language learning among diverse learners
      • socio-cultural factors that impact clinical services
model 1 specific course
Model 1: Specific Course
  • Sample content (Goldstein, 2011; Paradis et al., 2011)
    • patterns of dual language acquisition
      • BFLA
      • SLA
    • dual language learning phenomena
    • educational issues
    • cultural issues
    • assessment
    • Intervention
    • working with families
    • collaboration with other professionals
model 2 integration of content
Model 2: Integration of Content
  • Two approaches
    • course content
    • case – based
    • (both incorporated into the course)
model 3
Model 3
  • Integration:
    • specific course
    • integration of content + activities throughout the curriculum
  • Best practice
    • validation of need to acquire the necessary knowledge
    • presents multilingualism not as an exception, but as an integral component of academic content.
clinical experience
Clinical Experience
  • Provide opportunities for clinical practica with linguistically diverse children
    • in house (departmental clinic)
    • externships/outside placements
in house
In House
  • Remove linguistic and cultural barriers for target clientele
    • examples
      • language line
      • trained interpreters
      • marketing within the community
        • visibility
      • clinic hours
  • Collaboration of academic and clinical faculty
    • faculty training
    • information exchange
  • Identify agencies/clinics/schools that serve dual language learners
  • Establish collaborations
  • Integration
    • within the curriculum
    • academic + clinical experience
    • target community + academic program
adults with aphasia
Adults with Aphasia
  • Hispanic adults are the most frequently encountered minority group in many neurorehabilitation programs in the U.S.

(Centeno, 2009; in press)

teaching strategies
Teaching Strategies
  • Approaches for content coverage

I. Section in Aphasia course

II. Section in Bilingualism/Diversity course

III. Section in Clinical Assessment course

(ASHA, 2012; Lubinski & Matteliano, 2008)

content to cover
Content to cover

Adapt to teaching strategies I, II, or III

  • Demographic Info: Bilingualism as a local and worldwide phenomenon
  • General overview of aphasia
  • General principles of aphasia in bilingual individuals

(Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Fabbro, 1999; Gitterman et al., in press; Goral et al., 2002; Roberts, 2008; Paradis, 2004)

content to cover1
Content to cover
  • Impact of pre-morbid linguistic, communicative,

cognitive, and social background on post-stroke

profile (Fig. 1)

Significance of research on Spanish-English bilinguals with aphasia:

Factors - Language dominance, expressive routines, educational background, etc.

(Centeno, in press; Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Juncos-Rabadán, 1994; Muñoz et al., 1999)

content to cover2
Content to cover
  • Clinical procedures:

Assessment & diagnosis


(Brozgold & Centeno, 2007; Centeno, 2007a, 2007b; 2010; Centeno & Ansaldo, 2013; Juncos-Rabadán, 1994; Kiran & Edmonds, 2004; Kohnert, 2008, 2009; Muñoz & Marquardt, 2008; Paradis, 2004, 2012; Roberts, 2008)

  • Sociocultural and administrative factors: attitudes,

motivations, and healthcare issues

(Centeno, 2007b; Salas-Provance et al., 2002; Zunker & Cummins, 2004)

clinical experiences
Clinical Experiences
  • Direct clinical practice

In-house practicum

External practica

  • Indirect experience: videos, observations of other clinicians
  • Linking of research to clinical training to serve minority groups is important
  • Implementation of training models to accurately and sensitively work with minority individuals may only be possible with both professional and institutional support.