Cultural and Linguistic Considerations in Language Assessment and Intervention for Levantine Arabic Speaking Children Working with multilingual children requires knowledge of their home/heritage culture and language(s), norms for development of these languages in monolingual and multilingual settings, and access to assessments and clinical resources. In the case of Arabic, all three requirements are normally missing due to the paucity of research on language development ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2014
Cultural and Linguistic Considerations in Language Assessment and Intervention for Levantine Arabic Speaking Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Reem Khamis-Dakwar
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
  • Ghada Khattab
    Phonetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Financial Disclosure: Reem Khamis-Dakwar is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University. Ghada Khattab is a Senior Lecturer in Phonetics at Newcastle University. This paper was developed based on a portion of a resource developed with the support of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Grant Program for Projects on Multicultural Activities, 2011.
    Financial Disclosure: Reem Khamis-Dakwar is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University. Ghada Khattab is a Senior Lecturer in Phonetics at Newcastle University. This paper was developed based on a portion of a resource developed with the support of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Grant Program for Projects on Multicultural Activities, 2011.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Reem Khamis-Dakwar has previously published in the subject area. Ghada Khattab has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Reem Khamis-Dakwar has previously published in the subject area. Ghada Khattab has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2014
Cultural and Linguistic Considerations in Language Assessment and Intervention for Levantine Arabic Speaking Children
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2014, Vol. 21, 78-87. doi:10.1044/cds21.3.78
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, December 2014, Vol. 21, 78-87. doi:10.1044/cds21.3.78

Working with multilingual children requires knowledge of their home/heritage culture and language(s), norms for development of these languages in monolingual and multilingual settings, and access to assessments and clinical resources. In the case of Arabic, all three requirements are normally missing due to the paucity of research on language development in Arabic. In the face of a steady increase in the Arab-American population and limited related linguistic and cultural knowledge, Arab-Americans run the same risk of over- and under-identification of language impairment as do many minority groups in the United States. This paper aims to provide foundational knowledge of the diversity of the Arab culture and language(s), and of the prevalence of multilingualism in the Arab world. We also present some background on the Arab population in the United States, while highlighting potential vulnerable areas of service delivery. A brief account of some of the main linguistic features of Levantine Arabic (LA) is then provided, followed by implications for language interaction in the perception and production patterns of heritage language speakers. We hope that this paper will enhance speech-language pathologists (SLPs') ability to implement best practices in bilingual assessment when working with children from a Levantine background and to raise their awareness of implicit bias.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to extend special thanks to all the professionals involved in promoting professional understanding and knowledge towards improving speech-language pathology service to Arab Americans within a multidisciplinary evidence-based practice framework. Special thanks to Abbas Benmamoun, Karen Froud, SIG 14 editor Nidhi Mahendra, issue editor Mahchid Namazi, and the paper's reviewers.
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