Isolating intrinsic processing disorders from second language acquisition

Robin H. Lock, Carol A. Layton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Differentiating intrinsic processing disorders from extrinsic factors, such as cultural differences and language acquisition proficiency, is a complex issue. Students with limited English proficiency (LEP) may be mistakenly identified as learning disabled due to inherent similarities between intrinsic processing deficits and the process of second language acquisition. The need for evaluation instruments to separate these discrete factors is critical. The Learning Disabilities Diagnostic Inventory (LDDI) is a recently published observational tool designed to help teachers detect possible intrinsic processing disorders. This study compared LDDI results of non-disabled students with LEP and those who were English-speaking to determine the frequency of intrinsic processing likelihood. Results of the study indicated that non-disabled students with LEP were over-identified as having intrinsic processing deficits through this process. Upon examination of individual LDDI protocols, the over-identification issue focused on the need to train educators concerning second language acquisition characteristics rather than simply discarding the LDDI as a possible tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2002


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