English-only treatment of bilingual speakers who stutter: Generalization of treatment effects from English to Mandarin

Valerie P.C. Lim, Michelle Lincoln, Mark Onslow, Yiong Huak Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Speech language pathologists often do not speak the dominant language of their clients and so the language of treatment is an important consideration. This research investigated whether stuttering treatment delivered in English resulted in reductions in stuttering in English and Mandarin bilingual Singaporean speakers.Method: Participants were 19 English-Mandarin bilinguals who stuttered. They received a speech re-structuring intensive program (IP) delivered in English only. Three 10-minute conversations in English and Mandarin, sampled at pre-treatment, immediately post IP, 4 weeks post IP and 12 weeks post IP, were analysed by two English-Mandarin bilingual clinicians for percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS).Result: After English-only treatment, stuttering reductions were found to generalize to Mandarin. Stuttering reductions were significantly higher in English compared to Mandarin at 4 weeks post-IP, but there was no significant difference in the stuttering reductions between languages at the end of IP and at 12 weeks post-IP. Mean %SS scores for English and Mandarin were comparable with the outcome data reported for a similar intensive speech-restructuring program for monolingual English-speaking adults.Conclusion: The results of this study show that stuttering reductions can be achieved in two languages following treatment in one language only. Future research in this area is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-440
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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