Speech and language delays are some of the most prominent issues in our toddler adoptees. At our visit, we'll discuss hearing, comprehension, early nonverbal social communication (eye contact, peekaboo, pointing), gestures/signs, amount/quality of vocalizing, and expressive speech (how many spoken words? combining words?). Many of our kids are primarily "late talkers", with other fundamentals of language more intact.
But don't just wait for them to "learn English" - if you're delayed in your native language it's harder to learn a new one. So be proactive and pick up one of these books - they're both chock full of practical tools to help your child catch up. We'll be happy to refer you to a speech/language pathologist (therapist) and audiologist if you or we are concerned about language, but YOU will still be the biggest "therapist" in your child's life.
My favorites are:
It Takes Two To Talk: A Practical Guide For Parents of Children With Language Delays by Jan Pepper, Elaine Weitzman (click above to order from Amazon). It costs $45, and is worth it. Lots of lovely illustrations, researched-based but actually a simple, practical, easy read. If you want a higher reading-level type book with more research citations, etc, then see below. You can also order it from the Hanen Centre, which publishes a number of excellent books.
I also really like Talking with Toddlers, by Rick McKinnon, PhD. (a local speech/language specialist), which is free and online. Instant gratification. Now he's even got a Talking With Toddlers blog - don't miss the book chapters, screening tools, and video tips in the right sidebar.
Look Who's Talking, by Laura Dyer, is well-researched, practical, and comprehensive, and covers a broader age range than the two listed above. Features specific sections on adoption and bilingual issues (but don't miss Glennen's website for more detail on language development in post-institutionalized children).A good book with more emphasis on older, school-age children is Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi.