At Home Speech Therapy for Children and Adults in Northern NJ

Providing Our Clients With the Freedom to Speak
At Home Speech Therapy for Children and Adults in Northern NJ

Blog

The Liberty Speech Associates blog discusses information pertaining to speech and language development, communication disorders in children and adults, accent modification, technology, and telepractice/teletherapy.  Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged!


view:  full / summary

What to Expect During a Pediatric Speech and Language Evaluation

Posted on August 11, 2017 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (1)


Although all speech-language pathologists structure their evaluations a little differently, there are crucial components that should be expected as part of all pediatric speech and language evaluations. These components include a family interview, an oral mechanism examination, assessment of articulation/phonology, assessment of voice, assessment of fluency, assessment of receptive and expressive language, and a discussion of the results. Depending on your child’s age, his reported difficulties, and/or the location of the evaluation, additional components of the evaluation may include: a teacher interview, a hearing screening, a play assessment, a feeding/swallowing assessment, and/or a narrative assessment. Each of the crucial components will be described in detail below:


Family Interview

The purpose of the family interview is to gather information about your child’s background, such as birth and medical history, speech and language concerns, past evaluations and/or therapies, developmental milestones, languages your child speaks and/or hears.


Oral Mechanism Examination

The purpose of an oral mechanism examination is to assess the structure and function of your child’s oral mechanism (e.g., lips, tongue, teeth, hard/soft palate) to support speech and/or feeding. Examples of tasks your child may be asked to do during this portion of the evaluation include moving his tongue from side-to-side, opening his mouth and saying “ah,” and raising his tongue to try and reach his nose.


Assessment of Articulation/Phonology

Articulation refers to the way we produce sounds using our oral mechanism and phonology refers to the way we organize sounds to form words. The purpose of assessing articulation and phonology is to observe what sounds your child can say, as well as to determine if your child has any errors in his speech and if there are patterns to those errors. For young children (under the age of 3), assessment of articulation and phonology is primarily done through a speech sample obtained during various play activities. A speech sample is exactly how it sounds – it is a sample of your child’s naturally occurring speech. For older children (above 3), assessment of articulation and phonology typically includes analysis of a speech sample obtained through conversation and/or play, as well as administration of a standardized test. During the standardized test, your child will look at pictures and/or objects, which represent all of the consonants (and depending on the test, also vowels) in Standard American English, and be asked to name them. The evaluator will transcribe what your child says for analysis.


Assessment of Voice

Voice refers to the quality, loudness, pitch, resonance and prosody of one’s speech. For most pediatric evaluations, especially for young children or when vocal characteristics are not a concern, assessment is done through a speech sample. The evaluator listens to your child’s speech to see if it appears appropriate for his age or gender. However, for older children and/or for those with vocal concerns, assessment may include a discussion of how your child is using his voice and his feelings about his voice, use of computerized software to analyze your child’s speech compared to same-age children, and/or laryngeal imaging.


Assessment of Fluency

Fluency refers to fluidity of one’s speech. The purpose of a fluency assessment is to determine if your child experiences stuttering and/or cluttering. For young children, assessment of fluency focuses on obtaining a speech sample to analyze any disruptions in the flow of your child’s speech. For older children with fluency concerns, assessment involves obtaining a speech sample, as well as discussing feelings about the fluency difficulties and situations when fluency skills are better/worse and administering a standardized fluency test. During the standardized test, your child may be asked a series of conversational questions, instructed to read different passages, and/or asked to describe various picture scenes.


Assessment of Receptive and Expressive Language

The purpose of a language assessment is to determine your child’s ability to understand and use language for a variety of purposes. Assessment of language includes obtaining a language sample, as well as administering standardized tests. The tasks your child is asked to do would depending on the test(s) administered; however, like with most standardized tests, your child is likely to be asked questions about different pictures, objects, and stories. For example, he may be asked to find a picture described by the evaluator (e.g., show me the big black dog). Discussion of the Results At the conclusion of the evaluation, there should be a discussion of results with the evaluating speech-language pathologist. The speech-language pathologist should share her findings (diagnoses, observations), inform you if additional testing by a speech-language pathologist or related professional is recommended or required, discuss if speech/language therapy is warranted, and answer any questions you may have. 


About the Author:



Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.

Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

What is Dysphagia?

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Dysphagia is the term used to describe difficulty with swallowing. The action of swallowing has three phases (oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal) and dysphagia can occur during any of these phases. Dysphagia can occur in both children and adults.



Symptoms may include:
Coughing after eating
Gagging/coughing while eating
Leaking of food or liquid from the mouth or nose
Requiring extra time or effort to chew and/or swallow
Experiencing chronic pneumonia or respiratory infections
Changing vocal quality after eating (may sound gurgly, hoarse or breathy)

Because eating and drinking are crucial components to our daily lives, dysphagia can lead to both nutritional and social problems. For example, a person with dysphagia may experience dehydration or weight loss and/or may be less willing to participate in social activities due to embarrassment.


Some possible causes of dysphagia in children include:
Reflux
Prematurity
Cerebral palsy
Encephalopathy
Cleft lip and/or palate

Some possible causes of dysphagia in adults include:
ALS
Stroke
Brain injury
Parkinson’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease

If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing dysphagia, it is important that you speak to your doctor and undergo a swallowing evaluation. These evaluations are performed by speech-language pathologists with expertise and training in dysphagia. To find a speech-language pathologist who is board certified in swallowing and swallowing disorders, visit the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  

References:
ASHA. (n.d.). Feeding and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) in Children. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/Feeding-and-Swallowing-Disorders-in-Children/

ASHA. (n.d.). Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) in Adults.  Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/Swallowing-Disorders-in-Adults/

About the Author:


Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.

Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact Courtney at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

Is it Apraxia?

Posted on July 30, 2017 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Apraxia, also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), has become the go-to diagnosis for many children in Early Intervention (under 3 years of age). However, many of these children do not have apraxia or are too young to receive a true diagnosis. So what is apraxia?

Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for a person to coordinate the movements of the mouth for speech. Apraxia can occur in children or adults, but for the purpose of this post, I will focus on CAS. There is some debate over the exact diagnostic features of CAS, but some commonly described symptoms are:

  • Inconsistent errors 
  • Inappropriate prosody 
  • Vowel errors 
  • Limited inventory of consonants and vowels 
  • Increased difficulty with longer, more complex words and utterances




Additionally, children with CAS tend to be “late talkers;” however, late talking in and of itself does not warrant a diagnosis of CAS. As can be seen by the aforementioned symptoms, the characteristics of CAS are described with regards to talking, so if a child is not yet talking or not talking much, a clear diagnosis of CAS cannot be made. In fact, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association goes so far as to say that “diagnosis below age 3 is best categorized under a provisional diagnostic classification, such as ‘CAS cannot be ruled out,’ ‘signs are consistent with problems in planning the movements required for speech,’ or ‘suspected to have CAS.’ 

If you have concerns with any aspect of your child’s speech or language development, it is suggested that you contact a local speech-language pathologist so that a thorough evaluation can be completed.

Resources:


About the Author

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.


Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

5 Questions to Ask a Provider Before Signing Up for Speech Therapy

Posted on July 22, 2017 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)


Question 1 - Are you licensed?

In most states, including NJ, a speech-language pathology license is required to practice as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Refer to the ASHA website for specifics on what licensing (if any) your state requires. Although SLPs should be the ones providing speech therapy, there are non-SLP providers out there selling their services with claims that they are doing “speech therapy.” Unfortunately, these individuals typically don’t have a licensing board/governing body to control their practices nor do they have the background to provide sound speech and language treatments. Therefore, this question should be at the top of your list when looking to begin speech therapy.


Question 2 - Are you ASHA-certified?

While certification is not required to practice as an SLP, ASHA-certified providers are required to complete a minimum of 30 continuing education/professional development hours every 3 years to ensure that they are providing the best practice.


Question 3 - What are your areas of expertise?

Although all SLPs have the same general background on speech and language disorders, not all SLPs have the same areas or levels of expertise. Some SLPs may specialize in working with adults, while others only work with children. Some SLPs may have an extensive background in dysphagia (swallowing disorder), while others may be stuttering specialists. Not all SLPs are the right fit for you and your family.


Question 4 - Do you keep current with the research in your field? How so?

It might seem obvious that all SLPs or healthcare professionals would keep current with the research in their field, but this, unfortunately, is not always the case. There are SLPs (and other healthcare professionals) out there who don’t take the time to read peer-reviewed research articles regarding the current status of different evaluation and treatment methods. While it can be costly and time-consuming to stay in the loop of current best and evidence-based practices, it’s crucial for SLPs to do so to provide the most appropriate services for their clients. Would you prefer an SLP who frequently reads research and is continuously trying to expand his/her knowledge or one who hasn’t opened a speech-language pathology journal since s/he graduated from school a number of years ago?

As SLPs, we are required to complete continuing education hours (as mentioned above for the ASHA certification question); however, in taking these courses, there is still no guarantee that the information disseminated has been thoroughly researched or vetted. That’s to say that an SLP could be doing many hours of continuing education, but on topics that have never truly been studied.


Question 5 - Have you worked with a client with _________ diagnosis recently?

This question is similar to the expertise one mentioned above and, probably goes without saying, but if you or your loved one have a specific diagnosis (e.g., Parkinson’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome) for which you are seeking speech therapy services, it’s important that the SLP you select has experience with and has recently worked with this population. Selecting an SLP who has only worked with one Parkinson’s patient in the span of 10 years would probably not be your best bet if you or your loved one has Parkinson’s Disease.


About the Author:

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.


Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

Social Communication: Definition, Assessment & Treatment

Posted on July 15, 2017 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)


As per request on a recent Instagram post looking for suggestions, today’s blog post will be about social communication and social communication disorder (SCD). Before explaining the disorder itself, it’s important to lay the framework of what is meant by “social communication” in general. According to Adams (2005), social communication is the combination of social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics, and receptive/expressive language.

Social interaction refers to one’s ability to acknowledge that other people are social beings (Adams, 2005). Per ASHA (n.d.), social interaction includes, but is not limited to, communication style, language use/code switching, social reasoning and competence, and conflict resolution.

Social cognition describes one’s ability to connect with and understand the emotions of oneself and others, as well as understand the nuances of language and make inferences from context cues (Adams, 2005).


Pragmatics is how we use language in social situations using unwritten rules based on the context. For example, a person may use language differently when speaking to a peer versus a parent (Adams, 2005). Pragmatic skills include, but are not limited to, maintaining the topic of conversation, initiating a conversation or interaction, making eye contact, repairing conversational breakdowns, and taking turns.

Receptive language is comprehension of language and expressive language is the expressive output of language. Language includes reading, writing, speaking, gesturing, and understanding. Components of receptive/expressive language are syntax (word order), morphology (word forms), and semantics (vocabulary), and phonology (speech sounds).

When an individual has a SCD, s/he can experience difficulties in any or all of the areas of social communication described above. SCDs can co-occur with other conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, or traumatic brain injury, but may also stand alone. Social communication is heavily linked to culture, so an individual’s expected behavior will vary from person to person and community to community. If there are concerns with a person’s social communication skills, a speech-language pathologist can perform an in-depth evaluation to determine if any aspect of the person’s communication deviates from the norm of his/her particular society and/or culture. The evaluation would likely include interviews with caregivers and relevant others (e.g., teachers, employers), clinical observation of the client in a social situation, standardized assessment, and non-standardized analysis of all communication domains.

If it is determined that individual does have a SCD, speech therapy can be provided to assist the client in having more successful social interactions and relationships with caregivers, peers, colleagues, teachers, etc. Speech therapy sessions should be catered to individual client’s needs while taking research and best practices into account. The specific structure of a speech therapy session for SCDs would depend heavily on the client’s noted areas of breakdown. Speech therapy sessions could be provided one-on-one to teach specific social rules; however, it is important that speech therapy sessions also occur in group or social situations to ensure carryover of the skills learned. Social stories may be used to help the individual understand the difference between what s/he is doing versus what the social expectation or norm is.

Do you have specific questions or concerns about social communication or SCDs? Leave a comment below, so that it can be addressed.


References
Adams, C. (2005). Social communication intervention for school-age children: Rationale and description. Seminars in Speech and Language, 26(3), 181-188.

ASHA (n.d.). Social communication disorders in school-aged children. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589934980§ion=Overview.

About the Author:

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.

Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

TBI and Communication

Posted on July 8, 2017 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)



Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an acute disorder resulting from a sudden incident to the head. Individuals can sustain a TBI in a variety of ways, including from motor vehicle accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, and assaults. According to the CDC, falling is the leading cause of TBI and is most common in children from birth to age 4 and adults over the age of 75. Concussions are considered a mild form of TBI and make up approximately 75% of TBI cases per year (CDC).


Because TBI affects the brain there are many ways it can impact an individual; it can affect communication, gross and fine motor skills, cognition, sensation, swallowing abilities, and behavior (ASHA). The purpose of this post is to focus on the relationship between TBI and communication. A person with TBI can experience aphasia, which is a language disorder that impacts all language modalities: reading, writing, speaking, and understanding (for more information on aphasia, check out my post Can’t Get the Words Out? You Might Have Aphasia). A person with TBI can also experience difficulty with their pronunciation as a result of dysarthria and/or apraxia. In addition to general language and articulation difficulties, an individual with TBI can experience difficulties with pragmatics (AKA social communication); s/he may say and do things that are socially unacceptable or inappropriate, which may be behaviors s/he has never done previously, as well as have trouble following general rules of conversation (e.g., turn taking, topic maintenance).


Do you or a loved one have TBI? Please share your story below.


About the Author:


Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.


Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

Hearing 101

Posted on July 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)


When I recommend hearing tests to current or potential clients, I am often met with the same response, “I/my child hear(s) fine.” Although one’s hearing may appear “fine,” it is not guaranteed that the person can truly hear everything. What we hear is broken down into frequencies (pitch) and decibels (loudness) and it is possible to hear certain frequencies and decibels better than others. So even though you or your child may appear to hear everything, it is not necessarily the case. For example, your child may have a high frequency hearing loss, which would impact his ability to hear high frequency sounds, including some speech sounds, such as /s/ and /z/, and in turn affect his ability to pronounce these sounds.





Usually when we think of a “hearing test” we envision the experience we had in the nurse’s office at school; however, this “test” is actually a hearing screening. A hearing screening is a quick test that determines if an individual requires a complete audiological evaluation (hearing test). A hearing screening is on a pass/fail scoring system; if a person does not respond to a tone on the screening, s/he automatically fails and is referred for a complete evaluation. Hearing screenings are also done with newborns. A complete audiological evaluation is conducted in a soundproof booth and is done by an audiologist.



For more information on hearing tests and screenings, check out this helpful resource from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 


About the author:

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.

Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.

Is it Stuttering?

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Stuttering is a communication disorder, which impacts the fluency of one’s speech. It typically begins in childhood and continues throughout one’s life (this is referred to developmental stuttering). However, there are situations where someone could acquire stuttering (referred to as neurogenic stuttering) as the result of a brain tumor, stroke, or brain injury.


Prior to the age of 6, children can experience developmental disfluencies, which is often interpreted as stuttering. As children learn to talk, they may go through different stages of disfluency, repeating syllables, sounds, words, or phrases. In typically-developing children, these repetitions/disfluencies should occur less than 10% of the time. Additionally, the children should be essentially unaware of them. Children in this category will likely outgrow the disfluencies without intervention. In fact, according to ASHA, approximately 75% of preschoolers will eventually stop stuttering. Recovery typically occurs within months of beginning.



Although children may experience these developmental disfluencies and eventually outgrow them, there are children who may be at a higher risk of developing a stuttering disorder, which may continue into adulthood. A child is more likely to have a stuttering disorder versus developmental disfluencies in the following cases:

• He is male

• S/he has a family history of stuttering

• The stuttering persists for several months

• The moments of disfluency occur more than 10% of the time

• S/he is aware and upset by the stuttering and/or avoids speaking situations

• Stuttering consists of blocks and/or prolongations, in addition to repetitions



If you are unsure where your child may fall along the stuttering continuum or have general concerns about your child’s communication, it is best to contact your local speech-language pathologist (SLP) for a comprehensive speech and language evaluation. The SLP will be able to diagnose the stutter, as well as provide strategies and suggestions for improvement. As a parent the best thing you can do is not react negatively to the stutter/disfluency or tell your child to “slow down.” This can lead to stressful speaking situations for your child, which may cause the disfluencies to worsen.


For more information on stuttering, check out resources at The Stuttering Foundation and The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


Have questions about stuttering? Please leave a comment below!


About the Author:

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.


Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com

Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Semantics and Pragmatics

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Thanks for checking out my 3rd post of a three-part series on Spanish-Influenced English. Today’s post is Spotlight on Semantics and Pragmatics. If you haven’t had a chance to read posts 1 and 2, check them out now - Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Pronunciation and Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Morphosyntax.

To start, I’d like to give brief definitions of the terms “semantics” and “pragmatics.” Semantics refers to word meanings and vocabulary. Pragmatics refers to social language skills, such as making eye contact, using facial expressions, communicating with different gestures or body language. The purpose of today’s post is to discuss the semantic and pragmatic similarities and differences between Spanish and English and describe how the differences may impact a Spanish-speaker’s communication style or use of English. It should not be assumed that all second-language learners will present with the patterns described in this post.

Semantics

Both Spanish and English have vocabulary derived from Latin and, as such, there is shared terminology between the two languages. In some instances, there are words that are identical in spelling and meaning between English and Spanish (e.g., actor/actor; color/color), but the pronunciation varies, while in other instances there are words that are extremely similar (activity/actividad; independent/independiente) in both spelling and meaning. Words that are spelled the same or similarly and maintain the same meaning are referred to as cognates.


Cognates may make it easier to acquire English vocabulary; however, there are false cognates (words that appear to be the same, but aren’t) that can make it challenging to learn a second language. There are numerous false cognates between English and Spanish, including, but not limited to, library/librería (bookstore), assist/assistir (attend), and embarrassed/embarazada (pregnant).





Pragmatics

All cultures have unwritten rules of behaviors that are and are not considered socially acceptable. However, these rules are not the same between cultures, which makes it difficult for individuals emigrating from other countries to communicate with natives. The differences in our communication styles and pragmatic rules may lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. Therefore, I will present some fundamental differences between our communication styles and those of Spanish-speakers so that we can better understand and communicate with one another.

In mainstream American culture, we place heavy importance on time, completing tasks, and getting down to business; we like to maintain a certain amount of personal space and do not like when someone approaches us too closely; we expect children to look at adults when speaking and consider it rude if they look down or away (Roseberry-McKibbin, 2002). Conversely, in Hispanic culture, it is customary to initiate business interactions with pleasantries and personal conversations, time constraints are less stringent; close proximity is frequently used when communicating with others; avoiding eye contact during communication with an adult is considered a sign of respect (Roseberry-McKibbin, 2002).



Although the aforementioned semantic and pragmatic characteristics are common between many English- and Spanish-speakers, it should not be assumed that all individuals have the same vocabulary knowledge, beliefs, or behaviors. This concludes my post on semantics and pragmatics in Spanish-Influenced English. I’d love to hear your cultural and linguistic experiences as an English language learner. Please leave me a comment below.

References:
Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2002). Multicultural students with special language needs: Practical strategies for assessment and intervention (2nd ed.). Oceanside, CA: Academic Communication Associates, Inc.


About the Author:


Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.

Interested in speech or language therapy? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com. 

Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Morphosyntax

Posted on May 27, 2017 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Today’s blog post, Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Morphosyntax, is part 2 of a three-part series. Didn’t have a chance to read part 1? Check it out now - Spanish-Influenced English: Spotlight on Pronunciation.


I’d like to begin this post by explaining what is meant by “morphosyntax.” This term refers to the morphological and syntactic structure of language. Morphology refers to the study of words and their parts. Syntax refers to sentence structure and the rules governing the way in which we form sentences. The purpose of this post is to discuss the morphosyntactic similarities and differences between Spanish and English and describe how the differences may impact a Spanish-speaker’s production of English. It should not be assumed that all second-language learners will present with the patterns described in this post.




Spanish and English have comparable morphosyntactic structures. Typically, both languages follow a subject-verb-object (S-V-O) word order; however, this word order is not required in Spanish as it is in English (Anderson, 1995). Although both languages usually employ a S-V-O word order, there are significant differences between Spanish and English in areas, such as question formation, comparatives/superlatives, possessives, adjectives, gender, number, verb tense, negation, plurals, and articles (Goldstein, 2004; Roseberry-McKibbin, 2002). In Spanish, the following morphosyntactic rules apply (Goldstein, 2004; Roseberry-McKibbin, 2002):
  • Questions are identified by a speaker’s intonation rather than by word order, 
  • Comparatives and superlatives are signified by the word “más,” meaning “more,” 
  • Possessives are represented based on word order rather than an ’s, 
  • Adjectives follow nouns and agree in number and gender with the noun, 
  • Verbs are marked by number and tense, 
  • Negation is marked by the word “no,” 
  • Double negatives are acceptable, 
  • Plurals are represented throughout the noun phrase, 
  • Articles agree in number and gender with the noun. 

As a result of these differences, Spanish speakers learning English as a second language may make mistakes by employing the morphosyntactic rules of Spanish to their sentences in English. Examples of erred sentences that may be produced by a second-language learner are as follows:

  • You are angry?
  • His house is more big than our house.
  • That is the house of Jose.
  • I have three apples reds.
  • No do that!
  • I need three hundreds dollars.
  • I no want no cookies.



This concludes my post on morphosyntax in Spanish-Influenced English. Don’t forget to check back soon for the next post in this series. Also, please leave a comment if English is your second language to let me know what types of struggles (if any) you experience when speaking English.


References:

Anderson, R. T. (1995). Spanish morphological and syntactic development. In H. Kayser (Ed.), Bilingual speech-language pathology: An Hispanic focus (pp. 41-74). San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.

Goldstein, B. A. (2004). Bilingual language development and disorders in Spanish-English speakers. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.

Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2002). Multicultural students with special language needs: Practical strategies for assessment and intervention (2nd ed.). Oceanside, CA: Academic Communication Associates, Inc.


About the Author

Courtney Caruso is the owner of Liberty Speech Associates LLC and is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in Northern NJ. She works with children and adults in their homes so they can work on their skills in a natural environment where they are most comfortable.


Interested in speech or language therapy or accent modification services? Contact us at 201-658-4400 or ccaruso@libertyspeechassociates.com.


Rss_feed