Spanish-English dual language learners living in the United States present an incredibly diverse and heterogeneous group. Many members of this community may experience a variety of communication disorders that must be addressed by speech-language pathologists and associated professionals. Currently, these children face many barriers to receiving proper speech and language services and care, including misidentification, miscommunication with caregivers, and inappropriate intervention methods. This thesis project outlines several key differences that clinicians should be aware of in the development of bilingual children and continues to describe key clinical strategies that can be used during identification, intervention, and caregiver involvement. It is incredibly essential that speech-language pathologists are equipped with knowledge about the theories supporting bilingual language acquisition; reliable and valid assessment methods that distinguish disorders from differences for culturally and linguistically diverse populations; the benefits associated with and strategies for implementing bilingual speech therapy; and methods of encouraging and communicating with Latinx caregivers to improve intervention outcomes. Additionally, clinicians should understand that monolingual clinicians are responsible for possessing the skills and knowledge needed to deliver bilingual speech therapy. The research included in this presentation suggests that a converging evidence approach, bilingual intervention, and culturally sensitive caregiver involvement strategies are among the most effective clinical recommendations in the field for young Latinx DLLs to date. This project is designed to guide clinical decision making and can be used as a reference for educators, professionals, and students within the field of communication disorders.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-6-2022


Abbey Poffenberger

Mentor Department Affiliation

Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology