TitleComparison between a dynamic assessment procedure and the WMLS-R in distinguishing language abilities among Hispanic children in first grade
NameSpero, Jill Marie (author), Oades-Sese, Geraldine V. (chair), Haboush, Karen L. (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Dynamic assessment (Education),
Limited English-proficient students,
School children--United States--Examinations,
Hispanic Americans--Education (Elementary),
Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey
DescriptionHistorically, educators have had significant difficulty assessing the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, especially when determining special education classification. Hispanic students seem especially vulnerable to schools’ traditionally inadequate means of assessing language ability in CLD students. Dynamic assessment is one approach that has been identified as promising in the development of more culturally competent evaluation procedures. The purpose of this dissertation was to compare a traditional language assessment to a dynamic assessment procedure in regard to their utility for identifying students at-risk for Speech or Language Impairment (SLI). Twenty-five Hispanic, bilingual first graders from an urban school district were administered a standardized measure of language (Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey-Revised) as a traditional indicator of language ability. Students scoring one standard deviation below the mean were labeled at risk for SLI classification, while those scoring at the mean or higher were deemed typically developing. All children then underwent a dynamic assessment of language ability involving a pretest, two 30-minute mediated learning experiences, and a posttest. Following dynamic assessment, both groups made significant improvements in story complexity and completeness, and did so to a comparable degree. Furthermore, 100% of students classified at risk for SLI by the standardized measure were deemed typically developing according to dynamic assessment. Consistent with previous dynamic assessment studies, the results indicate that reliance on a traditional, standardized measure of language to assess Hispanic students for SLI may underestimate their language abilities and, thus, increase the risk for special education classification. Further, dynamic assessment appears to be a valuable tool for discerning language differences from true language disorders in Hispanic children. Both dynamic assessment and standardized measures of language may assess different aspects of language ability, which together may comprise a more reliable assessment strategy for identifying SLI in Hispanic children. Implications for the use of dynamic assessment in SLI evaluation and intervention are discussed in light of concerns about misclassification of CLD students. Additionally, implications for the role of school psychologists related to dynamic assessment are addressed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Jill Marie Spero
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.