Evidence-Based Treatment of Stuttering: Empirical Bases and Clinical Applications

By Anne K. Bothe | Go to book overview

5
Bilingualism
in Early Stuttering:
Empirical Issues
and Clinical Implications
Rosalee C. Shenker The Montreal Fluency Centre and McGill University

In a recent review of stuttering and bilingualism, Van Borsel, Maes, and Foulon (2001) cited the early studies of Travis, Johnson, and Shover (1937), and Stern (1948), who calculated the prevalence of stuttering in bilingual school children in Chicago and South Africa. The findings of these studies, which were based on clinical judgments made from a single assessment, suggested that stuttering was more prevalent among bilinguals. A recent study by Au-Jeung, Howell, Davis, Charles, and Sackin (2000), however, suggests that the percentage of bilingual speakers self-reporting stuttering is almost identical to the prevalence in monolingual speakers. Whether stuttering is equally likely or more likely in bilingual or multilingual speakers than in monolingual speakers, it is clear that most speech-language pathologists have a good chance of seeing bilingual children who stutter. The relation between bilingualism and stuttering is not well understood, however, and most clinicians do not have adequate guidelines for responding to the commonly posed questions of parents and educators (see Finn & Cordes, 1997).

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