Development and Validation of the Spanish–English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS) Purpose This study examined the development and validation of a criterion-referenced Spanish–English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS) that was designed to assess the oral language skills of sequential bilingual children ages 4–8. This article reports results for the English proficiency portion of the scale. Method The SELPS assesses syntactic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2013
Development and Validation of the Spanish–English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ekaterina Smyk
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • M. Adelaida Restrepo
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Joanna S. Gorin
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Shelley Gray
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Correspondence to Ekaterina Smyk: ekaterina.smyk@gmail.com
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Gary Troia
    Associate Editor: Gary Troia×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2013
Development and Validation of the Spanish–English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS)
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2013, Vol. 44, 252-265. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2013/12-0074)
History: Received August 9, 2012 , Revised December 4, 2012 , Accepted February 8, 2013
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2013, Vol. 44, 252-265. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2013/12-0074)
History: Received August 9, 2012; Revised December 4, 2012; Accepted February 8, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose This study examined the development and validation of a criterion-referenced Spanish–English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS) that was designed to assess the oral language skills of sequential bilingual children ages 4–8. This article reports results for the English proficiency portion of the scale.

Method The SELPS assesses syntactic complexity, grammatical accuracy, verbal fluency, and lexical diversity based on 2 story retell tasks. In Study 1, 40 children were given 2 story retell tasks to evaluate the reliability of parallel forms. In Study 2, 76 children participated in the validation of the scale against language sample measures and teacher ratings of language proficiency.

Results Study 1 indicated no significant differences between the SELPS scores on the 2 stories. Study 2 indicated that the SELPS scores correlated significantly with their counterpart language sample measures. Correlations between the SELPS and teacher ratings were moderate.

Conclusions The 2 story retells elicited comparable SELPS scores, providing a valuable tool for test–retest conditions in the assessment of language proficiency. Correlations between the SELPS scores and external variables indicated that these measures assessed the same language skills. Results provided empirical evidence regarding the validity of inferences about language proficiency based on the SELPS score.

Acknowledgments
The data in this research were collected with support from Grant R324A080024 by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Science. Portions of the results were presented at the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders in 2009 and the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2009 and 2011.
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