The process by which a second language is acquired can either be simultaneous or sequential.
Simultaneous bilingualism involves introducing two languages before age three and acquiring both at the same time.
Sequential bilingualism refers to the introduction of a second language after age three or after a certain level of proficiency is achieved in the primary language.
This is also known as Successive Bilingualism.
Dual language learners and English learners also fall into this category. These are individuals who have mastered their primary language and are learning a second language (such as English) for social, academic, and professional purposes.
According to ASHA, the following are normal or typical characteristics of individuals learning multiple languages:
A bilingual evaluation conducted by a bilingual speech-language pathologist (SLP) is needed to determine if the communication differences a child exhibits are simply a result of second language acquisition or symptoms of a speech or language disorder. In the case of children having difficulties learning a second language, a bilingual speech-language therapist can:
Speech or language issues can go unnoticed or misdiagnosed in bilingual children because they are attributed to second language acquisition. In most cases, these conditions include: