assessment, bilingualism, international adoption, language impairment, literacy, multilingualism, school-age children



  1. Scott, Kathleen A. PhD


Growing evidence suggests that, as a group, many internationally adopted children catch up to their peers in terms of their language development by the time they reach their school-age years. Although this appears to be particularly true for children adopted during the first few years of life, it is not true for all internationally adopted children. Therefore, questions persist as to why it is that some children demonstrate favorable progress and good language outcomes by the school-age years and yet others do not. This article presents a systematic review of the available research on the oral and written language skill development of school-aged children who were internationally adopted. Computerized database searches uncovered 16 studies that examined language skills of internationally adopted children during the school-age years. A comprehensive review of the studies is provided and clinical implications regarding assessment and treatment are discussed. Specifically, this review found three studies that reported language difficulties by the time the adoptees had reached the school-age years, nine studies that reported good language outcomes by the school-age years, and four studies that reported mixed findings.