Authors: Nair VKK, Clark GT, Siyambalapitiya S, Reuterskiold C
Title: Language intervention in bilingual children with developmental language disorder: A systematic review
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2023 58(2): 576-600
Year: 2023
Research Design: Systematic Review

BACKGROUND: Although there is a growing body of literature on cognitive and language processing in bilingual children with developmental language disorder (DLD), there is a major gap in the evidence for language intervention. Critically, speech-language therapists are often required to make clinical decisions for language intervention on specific domains, such as phonology, vocabulary, morphosyntax and literacy. AIMS: To examine evidence for language intervention and cross-language transfer effects in bilingual children with DLD. Specifically, the study aimed to review intervention evidence targeting non-linguistic cognitive skills and six areas of language: phonology, vocabulary, morphosyntax, pragmatics, narrative skills and literacy. METHODS & PROCEDURES: We carried out searches in five electronic databases: CINAHL, Scopus, Psychinfo, Proquest and Sciencedirect. Data from selected papers were extracted and organized into the three following categories: study information, participant information and intervention information. Critical appraisal for selected papers was conducted using a quality assessment tool (QAT). OUTCOMES & RESULTS: We included 14 papers in the review. The majority indicated evidence for vocabulary intervention. There was limited evidence for intervention targeting phonology or morphosyntax. Cross-language generalization effects were evident for vocabulary, but in some instances also reported for morphosyntax and literacy. CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: The present review indicates that there is a significant gap in the literature regarding language intervention for several key language areas such as morphosyntax, narrative skills and literacy. There are only limited data for the effects of cross-language generalization indicating that more research is needed in this area specifically for skills beyond vocabulary.

Access: Open Access