Date of Defense





ESL, English as a second language


This paper reviews the available literature pertaining to Spanish-speaking children learning English as a second language in school, and the best methods for distinguishing the child with specific language impairment from a bilingual child with typical development. The findings summarize the degree of mastery of various morphemes in six groups: English-speaking children with typical development, English-speaking children with specific language impairment, English as a second language learners with typical development, English as a second language learners with specific language impairment, Spanish-speaking children with typical development and Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment. With this summary of language performance, monolingual and bilingual speech-language pathologists can better understand the differences in language ability of these six groups, identify each child's type of development, and avoid misdiagnosis. One section examines new language tests in development designed to measure morpheme performance in both Spanish dominant and English dominant bilingual children. Finally, future research is proposed that addresses the gaps in the literature concerning the acquisition of grammatical morphology and its use in the accurate identification of language impairment.


Double major in Music and Spanish, with a minor is Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only