Synthesizing Information From Language Samples and Standardized Tests in School-Age Bilingual Assessment Purpose Although language samples and standardized tests are regularly used in assessment, few studies provide clinical guidance on how to synthesize information from these testing tools. This study extends previous work on the relations between tests and language samples to a new population—school-age bilingual speakers with primary language impairment—and considers ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
Synthesizing Information From Language Samples and Standardized Tests in School-Age Bilingual Assessment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kerry Danahy Ebert
    Rush University, Chicago, IL
  • Giang Pham
    San Diego State University, CA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Kerry Danahy Ebert: Kerry_ebert@rush.edu
  • Editor: Shelley Gray
    Editor: Shelley Gray×
  • Associate Editor: Monique Mills
    Associate Editor: Monique Mills×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
Synthesizing Information From Language Samples and Standardized Tests in School-Age Bilingual Assessment
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2017, Vol. 48, 42-55. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-16-0007
History: Received January 28, 2016 , Revised May 16, 2016 , Accepted July 29, 2016
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2017, Vol. 48, 42-55. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-16-0007
History: Received January 28, 2016; Revised May 16, 2016; Accepted July 29, 2016

Purpose Although language samples and standardized tests are regularly used in assessment, few studies provide clinical guidance on how to synthesize information from these testing tools. This study extends previous work on the relations between tests and language samples to a new population—school-age bilingual speakers with primary language impairment—and considers the clinical implications for bilingual assessment.

Method Fifty-one bilingual children with primary language impairment completed narrative language samples and standardized language tests in English and Spanish. Children were separated into younger (ages 5;6 [years;months]–8;11) and older (ages 9;0–11;2) groups. Analysis included correlations with age and partial correlations between language sample measures and test scores in each language.

Results Within the younger group, positive correlations with large effect sizes indicated convergence between test scores and microstructural language sample measures in both Spanish and English. There were minimal correlations in the older group for either language. Age related to English but not Spanish measures.

Conclusions Tests and language samples complement each other in assessment. Wordless picture-book narratives may be more appropriate for ages 5–8 than for older children. We discuss clinical implications, including a case example of a bilingual child with primary language impairment, to illustrate how to synthesize information from these tools in assessment.

Acknowledgments
Data collection for this project was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R21DC010868 (awarded to Kathryn Kohnert), and manuscript preparation was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03DC013760 (awarded to Kerry Danahy Ebert). Portions of the analysis were presented in an unpublished master's thesis by Angela Mammolito. We thank Kathryn Ficho and Andrea Morales for assistance with language-sample analysis, as well as the many student research assistants who assisted with data collection for this project. The contributions of Jill Rentmeester Disher and the Minneapolis Public School District were invaluable to this project. We wish finally to thank the participants and their families.
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