Question of the Day

Question

A teacher refers Juan to you for a speech–language evaluation. Juan, a second grader from the Dominican Republic who speaks Spanish and English with equal fluency, transferred to your school district 3 months ago from another district in your state. In his previous district, Juan was in a bilingual classroom where his primary language of Spanish was maintained, and he was also exposed to English. According to Juan’s report card from the previous district, “Juan does well speaking both Spanish and English. I [the teacher] think he is beginning to show a preference for English. Juan is performing adequately in all academic areas.” The second-grade teacher at your school, who teaches only in English, feels that after 3 months in her classroom, “Juan is catching on slowly. I wonder whether he needs special education. It seems that he would benefit from speech therapy.” What would be your best course of action?