This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Dialectical Differences of Spanish-influenced English in Children: Competence and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists




Smith, Kelsey

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Communication Disorders


A web-based survey of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in 15 states across the United States was conducted to assess their confidence and competence in serving bilingual or English-language learning (ELL) children. Mean confidence reported in serving bilingual or multicultural children fell between ‘somewhat confident’ and ‘confident’ on a 4-point Likert scale. Number of areas of coursework and in-service training in topics of multiculturalism and bilingualism did not have a significant relationship with competence, while number of areas of in-service training had a positive correlation with confidence. Second language experience was shown to have a significant effect on competence, with the cultural and cultural/academic groups outperforming the monolingual and academic groups. Second language experience also had a positive effect on confidence and number of areas of coursework and in-service training. Lastly, confidence and competence were found to have a positive relationship. Implications for service provision are discussed.