Speech and language therapy services to multilingual children in Scotland and England: A comparison of three cities.
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Mennen, I. & Stansfield, J. (2006) Speech and language therapy services to multilingual children in Scotland and England: A comparison of three cities., Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders., vol. 4, , pp. 23-44,
This study investigates current speech and language therapy services for multilingual children in three cities in the UK, and examines whether an equitable service is provided to multilingual children in these cities. Through a combination of questionnaires, Census data, and school population data, information was gathered about number and ratio of monolingual and multilingual children in the population, number and ratio of monolingual and multilingual children on therapy caseloads, languages spoken by the multilingual children and therapists, number and ratio of therapists working in languages other than English, availability of multilingual therapy assistants and interpreters, language(s) in which therapy is offered, training/education provided to therapists, and practising therapists' views on service provision to multilingual children. Results show that currently only one of the three cities is providing a fully equitable service for multilingual children and that there are varying levels of support which partly reflect the perceived need in each area. Conclusions drawn include the need for a change in how data on linguistic diversity in society is collected and disseminated so that informed decisions can influence the future of quality services to minority groups.