Issues in second-language phonological acquisition among children and adults

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Communities in the United States have experienced sudden and sometimes sharp demographic shifts created by the growing numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. Speech clinicians are characterized as “gatekeepers” for language-minority populations with and without disordered speech. This article briefly examines the age-related variables (e.g., neurological, cognitive, affective) that affect the acquisition of a second-language phonology. Six critical issues are discussed that are related to the unique responsibility for evaluation and intervention suggested by this role. A variety of instructional strategies, practical activities, and cross-cultural challenges is provided as a resource for teachers and clinicians.

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