Language Development and Delay in Internationally Adoped Infants and Toddlers A Review Tutorial
Tutorial  |   November 01, 2002
Language Development and Delay in Internationally Adoped Infants and Toddlers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon Glennen, PhD
    Towson University
  • Contact author: Sharon L. Glennen, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Towson University, 8000 York Rd., Towson, MD 21252. E-mail: sglennen@towson.edu
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Healthcare Settings / International & Global / Tutorials
Tutorial   |   November 01, 2002
Language Development and Delay in Internationally Adoped Infants and Toddlers
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2002, Vol. 11, 333-339. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/038)
History: Received June 7, 2001 , Accepted January 8, 2002
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2002, Vol. 11, 333-339. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/038)
History: Received June 7, 2001; Accepted January 8, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 30

When children change cultures through adoption, they experience a transition from a birth first language to a new adoptive first language. Because adoptive families rarely speak the birth language, use of that language arrests at the time of adoption and undergoes attrition while the child learns the new adopted language. During this process, internationally adopted children have limited abilities in both languages. This makes it difficult to determine which children require speech and language services, and which will learn the new language spontaneously over time. This article reviews information on arrested language development in bilingual children and applies it to the internationally adopted child. The influence of cross-linguistic patterns of transfer and interference in infants and toddlers is explored, along with the medical and developmental risks associated with children adopted from orphanages. The primary goal of this article is to help professionals understand post-adoption language learning issues affecting internationally adopted children, as well as the impact of preadoption history on those developmental processes.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank M. Gay Masters from The University of Louisville and Mary-Margaret Windsor from Towson University for sharing their clinical expertise to develop this article. The reviewers of a previous draft of this article are also thanked for their insights that resulted in a reformulation of the paper. Finally, the adoptive families who shared stories about their children's language development are thanked for providing the spark that guided this line of research.
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