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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Frida I Matute, BA (George Washington University)
Description: This book seamlessly intertwines a set of innovative research and clinical implications for the speech and hearing arena in an instructional fashion. Technical terms, diagnostic tools, and discussions on therapeutic resources are addressed thoroughly, providing readers with a clear idea of each.
Purpose: It aims to increase the amount of available information concerning communication disorders in the bilingual population by including research studies and publications. More specifically, it links this literature to evidence-based practices for the upcoming and working speech-language professional. These objectives are important because they function to expand the information currently available. Consequently this book is pertinent and necessary as another resource in the speech-language pathology field, particularly with the bilinguals in the profession. The book meets the author's objectives in an organized manner while using laymen's terms to extend its audience.
Audience: It is written for advanced speech and hearing science students as well as licensed professionals. With its tone, organization, and resourcefulness, the book is applicable to both. The author most likely intended the book to have an instructional tone so the audience could include students as well as professionals. Due to the scarcity of information widely available on the topic, this style is most appropriate.
Features: This book covers an array of issues pertinent to not only the neurogenic population but bilingual adults and children with literacy, dyslexia, and specific language impairments. It also includes information for educational settings. For instance, the controversy between using word versus morpheme is addressed in consideration of the normal language development of bilingual children. At first, the authors distinguish between fundamental differences in both languages while providing clear definitions of what constitutes a bilingual. More so, the methodology of acquiring bilingualism in both children and adults is addressed with specific terms that are important when considering the immigrant populations in the U.S. Terms such as assimilation and acculturation are defined as components that comprise the daily life of a bilingual. This is the best part of the book because of the importance of including another culture's perspectives and ideals when intervention is necessary. The book goes on to consider communication disorders such as aphasia in bilinguals. More specifically, elements that aphasics might have difficulties with such as prepositional processing and dyslexia or dysgraphia are considered. Although there is a section targeting the types of dyslexia, visual dyslexia is not included. Because diagnostic tools, such as the Western Aphasia Battery Revised, use visual dyslexia for testing, the book should have included this. Other components of interest include the use of comparing and contrasting monolingual data versus bilingual data on individuals with communication disorders. To provide this type of information, case studies, graphs, tables, and the limitations as well as the relevant conclusions of each research study are lucidly explained. Although most of the information is theory-driven, evidence is used to support these theories, which allows for discussions on clinical implications. Each chapter is introduced with a synopsis and concludes with a summary, which helps organize the reader.
Assessment: This book does a good job of covering a lot of areas in communication disorders in bilinguals, the bilingual population, and cultural implications with evidence from research studies and literature in a way that other books do not. Although the chapters could have been more detailed, the book's succinct qualities do grant the most important and relevant information merit. To that end, the book is useful and of high quality.