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Multilingualism and Speech Sound Disorders

The majority of the world is multilingual and most children learn to speak the languages within their communities with adultlike competence. While there are a range of definitions of multilingualism, a broad definition from the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech is that multilingual people can speak, sign, and/or understand two or more languages with at least a basic level of proficiency. Multilingual children are at the same level of risk for having speech sound disorders as monolingual children; however, for multilingual children, identification of speech sound disorders can be more complex given the multiple linguistic influences on speech production. According to the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech (2012), “Children with speech sound disorders can have any combination of difficulties with perception, ...

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