alexa The state of school-based bilingual assessment: actual practice versus recommended guidelines.

Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

Author(s): Caesar LG, Kohler PD

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Abstract PURPOSE: This study was designed to investigate the frequency with which school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) used recommended practices when assessing the language skills of bilingual students. The study also investigated the frequency with which SLPs used formal, standardized tests versus informal, alternative procedures with this population. METHOD: A total of 596 surveys were mailed out to school-based SLPs in the state of Michigan who were members of the Michigan Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (MSHA) during the 2003-2004 academic year. Of the 409 usable surveys that were returned, 130 respondents indicated being involved in assessing bilingual children and comprised the sample used in this study. RESULTS: Results indicated that SLPs used formal, standardized English tests more frequently than informal assessment procedures when assessing bilingual students. Further in-depth analyses of SLPs' responses indicated that neither factors related to their years of experience or factors related to their academic preparation were significantly related to their use of recommended assessment practices. However, significant differences in use were noted based on respondents' employment settings. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study underscores the need for academic training programs and professional organizations to intentionally disseminate information regarding the expediency of alternative testing procedures. Implications for the adequate nonbiased assessment of bilingual children are discussed. This article was published in Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

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