Identifying and Treating Children's Language Disorders within Dialectally Diverse Communities


Session Dates

Thursday February 18, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM - Webinar
Thursday February 25, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Webinar

The presentation will: 1) review findings from studies of childhood language disorders within various dialects of English, 2) present and demonstrate three promising clinical tasks that should be tried and further explored for diverse English dialect speakers, 3) introduce strategic scoring with comparative data to show that it yields a more accurate interpretation of a child’s abilities than traditional, unmodified scoring approaches and modified scoring approaches, and 4) discuss three changes one can make to clinical practice to reduce unintentional linguistic microaggressions when working within dialectally diverse communities.


As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe three primary ways dialects of a language differ from each other.
  • Interpret the meaning of three camouflaged forms, be, had + verb, and ain’t when given a short language sample.
  • Apply strategic scoring to a set of sentences recalled by a child with a language impairment and a child developing language typically within the dialect of African American English.
  • Analyze and interpret a child’s use of auxiliary BE when given a brief language sample and a dialect discovery worksheet.

Target Audience

Speech and language pathologists

Topics Covered: Speech & Language

Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Melissa Howell, at 717-901-2288, or