I have a speech-delayed 5.5 years old son. Our first language is Arabic and he goes to an Arabic school that teaches English as a second language.

We have been doing speech therapy since he was 3.5 yo. The initial assessment was that he is about 2 years delayed from his peers. I also have a daughter who is 3.5 yo and her speech is now equal or better than his.

Also, I need to mention that there are signs of moderate attention deficit.

The problem now is that I have a good job opportunity in a city where the available school will be teaching in English only (IB curriculum). Most of the teachers and students speak English as their first language and I'm afraid that this could worsen my son's speech condition.

What do you think?

  • Welcome to Parenting.SE! His current school teaches English as a second language: how would you say his English skills are? Does he understand but speak it poorly, have a generally hard time with it at all, etc.?
    – Acire
    Jul 27, 2015 at 13:26
  • This school's focus on English is minimal. and the majority of the day is Arabic. In fact, I've chosen this school in particular because I believed that focusing on Arabic would help him, and we didn't try to help him at home in English either, our effort at home is completely in Arabic. Yet, currently, my son can recognize very few English words that he picked up from school and the video games that he plays.
    – AbuShokry
    Jul 27, 2015 at 13:39
  • What does his speech therapist think?
    – Joe
    Jul 27, 2015 at 14:28
  • she's not definite. we've been with multiple therapists. Some said, he can move given we speak to him Arabic at home, and keep English at school. and maintain speech therapy in Arabic. And others say it's not a good idea to move. Seems there isn't much research on this area. specially that English is left to right and Arabic is right to left language.
    – AbuShokry
    Jul 27, 2015 at 14:35
  • Please clarify: your son is speech-delayed in both Arabic and English or only in English?
    – bugmagnet
    Jul 29, 2015 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


I have two children with special needs and both have speech and Language difficulties. We moved from the UK to abroad and our children not only picked up the language but one of them retained their English so is bilingual. The other one is actually able to understand English just prefers to speak in the other language which he of course hears all day every day in school.

Out of interest I spent many years helping parents with special needs children get what they want from the Authorities in the UK and if anything you need to be forceful and go with reports to get the amount of therapy he might need to have in school.

I wish you success in whatever decision you make Sue

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .