Identifiers of Language Impairment for Spanish–English Dual Language Learners Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if a standardized assessment developed for Spanish–English dual language learners (SEDLLs) differentiates SEDLLs with language impairment (LI) from children with typical language better than the translated/adapted Spanish and/or English version of a standardized assessment and to determine if adding informal measure/s ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   December 06, 2018
Identifiers of Language Impairment for Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rochel Lazewnik
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Nancy A. Creaghead
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Allison Breit Smith
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jo-Anne Prendeville
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Lesley Raisor-Becker
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Noah Silbert
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 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 Rochel Lazewnik: lazewnrl@ucmail.uc.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray
    Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray×
  • Editor: Patricia Brooks
    Editor: Patricia Brooks×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 06, 2018
Identifiers of Language Impairment for Spanish–English Dual Language Learners
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0046
History: Received June 3, 2017 , Revised September 3, 2017 , Accepted August 4, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0046
History: Received June 3, 2017; Revised September 3, 2017; Accepted August 4, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if a standardized assessment developed for Spanish–English dual language learners (SEDLLs) differentiates SEDLLs with language impairment (LI) from children with typical language better than the translated/adapted Spanish and/or English version of a standardized assessment and to determine if adding informal measure/s to the standardized assessment increases the classification accuracy.

Method Standardized and informal language assessment measures were administered to 30 Mexican American 4- to 5-year-old SEDLLs to determine the predictive value of each measure and the group of measures that best identified children with LI and typical language. Discriminant analyses were performed on the data set.

Results The Morphosyntax and Semantics subtests of the Bilingual English–Spanish Assessment (Peña, Gutierrez-Clellen, Iglesias, Golstein, & Bedore, 2014) resulted in the largest effect size of the individual assessments with a sensitivity of 93.3% and a specificity of 86.7%. Combining these subtests with mean length of utterance in words from the child's better language sample (English or Spanish) was most accurate in identifying LI and can be used with above 90% confidence.

Conclusion The Bilingual English–Spanish Assessment Morphosyntax and Semantics subtests were shown to comprise an effective measure for identifying LI; however, including a language sample is suggested to identify LI with greater accuracy.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to graduate research assistant Shira Shabes Wallin for collecting data for this study. We acknowledge Maria Adelaida Restrepo for giving permission to use the parent interview she developed and Lisa Bedore, Brian Goldstein, Vera Gutierrez-Clellen, Aquiles Iglesias, and Elizabeth D. Peña for providing us with the BESA prior to publication. Deepest gratitude is extended to the children and their families who participated in the study.
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