Help! My Student Speaks German!

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Do you have a student who speaks German? Are you unsure if his/her speech and language errors are due to second language influence or a communication disorder?

Use this packet to accurately differentiate between errors that are related to second-language influence or are due to a communication disorder.

The framework used to distinguish language differences from language disorders is beneficial for all educators, and the use of this framework will result in improved instructional targets for culturally and linguistically diverse students in the general education classroom as well as more appropriate referrals for special education evaluations.

How to use this packet:
This packet contains information about speech sounds, sound patterns, and linguistic structures in German. All of this information is designed to answer the most common question we all have: Are the observed speech and language patterns indicative of learning English as a second language or is something more going on?

Included in this packet is general information about German, such as where it is spoken and its prevalence. The packet also includes norms for speech acquisition and a contrastive analysis with English speech sounds using Venn diagrams. These diagrams allow readers to literally see the differences between the two languages. The same format is used to look at differences in language structure. Developmental norms for language skills are included, as well as the shared and unique features of syntax and morphology in comparison with English. These tables provide a visual clue as to how differences between two languages can result in what appear to be “errors” in English. Finally, in an effort to provide a rich cultural framework in which to consider this information, the packet includes a personal note from a native speaker of German.

For easy reference, an International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) chart is also included. Additional developmental information about English sound acquisition, language milestones, and suppression of phonological processes is included in order to facilitate comparison between languages.
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Help!  My Student Speaks German!