Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Communication Sciences and Disorders

Program or Major

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Jill Thorson

Second Advisor

Meg Morgan


Language assessments are used to screen and diagnose children with language disorders. Many speech-language pathologists (SLP) practicing in Spanish in the United States do not speak Spanish as their first language, so they are administering these assessments in accented speech. This study aims to find what effect an SLP’s accent will have on a bilingual child’s language assessment. Initial findings show that participants were largely able to understand words in the L2 accent, with most of the errors due to several repeating consonantal features (i.e., voicing alone; place and manner of articulation). The broader impact of this work is to understand the constellation of phonetic and acoustic differences between L1 and L2 speakers to help SLPs choose which aspects of their pronunciations are most salient and likely to impact test results, which may lead to misdiagnoses.