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School of Education Research Talk
“Diagnostic Markers of Language Impairment in Bilingual Spanish-English Bilingual Children”
Presented by Elizabeth Peña, PhD
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
The University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
9:15 – 10:20am
Education Building 2010
Open to the public

Abstract: Children from linguistically diverse backgrounds are at-risk for misidentification for communication impairment. They may be over identified as having a communication impairment when linguistic differences are interpreted as disorders. They may also however be under identified when markers of impairment are interpreted as differences, possibly delaying needed services. In test development these issues need to be taken into account by focusing on targets that are sensitive to the impairment, yet insensitive to linguistic variation. The focus of this talk will be on strategies to increase classification accuracy for bilingual children with and without language impairment.

Bio: Elizabeth Peña is the George Christian Centennial Professor in Communication in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas-Austin. She is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Her research focuses the goal of differentiating language impairment from language difference. These interrelated areas include dynamic assessment, semantic development in bilinguals, and child language impairment. Her work has been funded by the NIH-NIDCD & NICHD, as well as the US Department of Education.