Considering Arrested Language Development and Language Loss in the Assessment of Second Language Learners
The evaluation of a child who is a second language learner should include an evaluation of the primary language (e.g., Spanish) as well as English. However, the discovery that a child is deficient in both languages does not necessarily mean that the child is not a normal language learner. The dialect and other variations of the language used in the child's home may be different from the standard language used in the assessment. Furthermore, the learning of a second language before competency in the first language is fully developed may result in arrested development or loss of proficiency in the primary language. This negative effect on the primary language occurs most often if the native language is devalued.