300 – Methods in studying communication development of immigrant and refugee children: A scoping review

Presentation - ECV2022-300

Methods in studying communication development of immigrant and refugee children: A scoping review

Catrine Demers, University of Alberta, Canada (catrine.demers@ualberta.ca)
Negin Yousefi, University of Alberta, Canada (nyousefi@ualberta.ca)
Carolina Lissette Salinas Marchant, University of Alberta, Canada (salinasm@ualberta.ca)
Wendy Amoako, University of Alberta, Canada (wamoako@ualberta.ca)
Maya Al Banna, University of Alberta, Canada (albanna@ualberta.ca)
Aunya Weich, University of Alberta, Canada (aunya@ualberta.ca)
Aguila Kylene, University of Alberta, Canada (kylene.aguila@umontreal.ca)
Anusha Khepar, University of Alberta, Canada (khepar@ualberta.ca)
Jiya Juneja, University of Alberta, Canada (jiya@ualberta.ca)
Andrea A.N. MacLeod, University of Alberta, Canada (andrea.a.n.macleod@ualberta.ca)

Background: The inclusion of children’s and families’ voices from immigration and refugee backgrounds in the field of communication sciences and disorders research is important to improve services provided to this population. However, data collected with immigrants and refugees who are not proficient in the majority language are often absent from the research.

Aim: This scoping review was designed to answer the following question: what methods are used when studying the communication development of children from families with an immigrant and refugee background who may not speak the majority language?

Method: For this scoping review in progress, six databases were searched: PsycINFO, Medline, Education multi-database search, Linguistic and Language Behavior Abstracts, Embase, and Scopus. The search strategy included the following concepts: (1) children from 0 to 6 years old, (2) immigrant and refugee, and (3) bilingual.

Results: A total of 5,642 studies were imported for screening. Preliminary results indicate that most studies only include methods to gather the voices of immigrant and refugee children and families when they are proficient in the majority language. We will present a reflective approach to consider how to build a more inclusive research program.

Conclusions: As decision makers aim to make evidence-based decisions, the lack of inclusive research methods to acknowledge all children’s and families’ voices can lead to inequities in policies and practice.

Implications for children and families: Your voice and experience is important and should be heard by researchers in communication sciences and disorders. Your proficiency in a language should not interfere with your ability to participate in research studies.

Implications for practitioners: The research you are reading often does not take measures to ensure the inclusion of all possible voices of children and their families from immigrant and refugee backgrounds.

Key words: children’s voices, families’ voices, bilinguals, multilinguals, immigrants, refugees, communication, scoping review

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Scroll to Top