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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Luis F. Riquelme, M.S.(Riquelme and Santo, PC)
Description: This book clearly presents a compilation of the latest research and clinical data as it pertains to the area of bilingualism in Spanish-English speakers. Most notable is the focus on language development and its relationship to communication sciences and disorders.
Purpose: According to the editor, the purpose "is to present current research findings on language development and disorders in Spanish-English bilingual children and link those findings to the assessment and treatment of Spanish-English bilingual children with communication disorders." As specified, the goals of the book are to present appropriate developmental data, assessment "best practices," and a comprehensive chapter on intervention. This book is a much needed resource, and the editor has gathered the top researchers in the field and asked them to discuss current research in their interest areas, discuss the implications for assessment, and discuss the implications for intervention. This results in a book that is an excellent compilation of current research, with a clinician-friendly focus.
Audience: This book is extremely relevant for the practicing clinician and intermediate level graduate student in communication sciences and disorders. It is of most relevance to the clinician working with a bilingual pediatric population. While its focus is on bilingual Spanish-English children, many of the findings and research reviews are of importance to other bilingual communities. The editor and authors' research is currently guiding our best practices in the United States.
Features: The chapters clearly define each author's specialty research and the appropriate parts of language and speech (e.g., the section on grammar to discourse includes chapters on verbal morphology and vocabulary, morphosyntactic development, first language loss, grammatical impairments, and narrative development). In addition to the update on current research, another important feature is the organization of each chapter. The editor ensured that each author not only include relevant and current research data, but also explicitly address implications for assessment and treatment. Two unique features are the chapter on intervention and the resource list at the end. The chapter on intervention attempts to answer the difficult question of language for treatment from a variety of perspectives, addressing levels of proficiency and ensuring highly pragmatic approaches. The chapter is clearly written and relevant to daily practice, as is most of the book. The resources listed offer the reader a good overview of materials available in a variety of formats. If there is a shortcoming, it is that the book could use more charts with outlines of the information presented in narrative form. This certainly does not take away from the formidable job accomplished by the book.
Assessment: This book serves to further the knowledge-base of the practicing clinician and emerging researcher in the area of bilingual language development and practice. Previous books have served to create a base and an awareness of the issues at hand when assessing, treating and working with bilingual children. This book takes the next step in ensuring best practices are maintained by providing the practitioner with relevant and current research data to make often difficult clinical and management decisions.