Review of Comparison Studies Investigating Bilingualism and Bilingual Instruction for Students with Disabilities

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Gregory A. Cheatham
Rosa Milagros Santos
Ayfer Kerkutluoglu


The purpose of this article is to provide a narrative review of comparison studies regarding the impacts of bilingualism and interventions including the home and second language for students with disabilities. Although research is limited, preliminary findings from existing studies illustrate that bilingualism does not negatively impact language or academic abilities for students with disabilities. Additionally, researchers suggest that instruction in and through the home and second language does not negatively impact language and academic abilities of students with disabilities assessed within these studies. We conclude with a discussion of steps forward, given that acceptance and promotion of bilingualism cannot only be effective for students with disabilities but also is a component of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for bilingual students with disabilities.

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