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The purpose of this study was to compare the pragmatic performance of students from two adolescent groups-students receiving English as a second language (ESL) instruction versus bilingual students receiving speech-language (BSL) therapy. A pragmatics Screening scale (i.e., the Adolescent Pragmatics Screening Scale, Brice, 1992a) was used to measure pragmatic performance. The findings of this study indicated that the BSL students differed from the ESL students in expressing themselves, establishing greetings, initiating and maintaining conversations, listening to a speaker, and cueing the listener regarding topic changes. Both groups of students had difficulties regulating others through language. Thus, even language-intact students may have some difficulty acquiring the Euro-American pragmatic feature of language. Academic failure and possible school dropout may result for the BSL students as a result of their difficulties. Implications of this study for the speech-language pathologist and other school professionals are given.


This article was originally published in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, volume 27, issue 1, in 1996. DOI: 10.1044/0161-1461.2701.68

Peer Reviewed



American Speech-Language-Hearing Association



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