Event Title

Translation of English-based assessments for developmental language disorders into Spanish: Effects on school-age bilingual populations

Research Mentor(s)

Kirsten Drickey

Description

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is an impairment in an otherwise typically-developing child’s ability to understand and use language. DLD can have serious negative implications for a child’s academic performance, social development, and health in general; thus, it is important for speech-language pathologists to assess children with a suspected disorder as soon as possible to plan for and quickly deliver intervention services. In the United States, evaluations for DLD are most commonly available in English. However, the increasing population of schoolchildren whose first language (L1) is not English has created a demand for assessments written in other languages, especially Spanish. Speech-language pathologists attempt to compensate for the lack of Spanish-language exams by simply translating existing English assessments directly into Spanish. This project investigated the challenges that occur with this tactic. First, scores on translated evaluations for DLD are only normed for monolingual children who speak English. Therefore, bilingual children whose L1 is Spanish are inaccurately compared to the wrong population and appear to perform lower than average on evaluations, leading to an overidentification of DLD in bilingual children. Secondly, tests that have been translated do not account for the cultural discrepancies and resulting natural language differences that exist between English-speaking monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals. These phonological, syntactical, and semantic variations cause a bilingual child with less exposure to English to perform below the norm on an assessment that has been translated by rote, leading to misdiagnosis of DLD. The project further investigated a possible solution to these problems. Dynamic assessment, which assesses a child’s capacity for learning through a test-teach-retest method, is becoming a preferred method for identifying DLD due to its responsiveness to the needs of the individual.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Department

Modern and Classical Languages

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Translation of English-based assessments for developmental language disorders into Spanish: Effects on school-age bilingual populations

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is an impairment in an otherwise typically-developing child’s ability to understand and use language. DLD can have serious negative implications for a child’s academic performance, social development, and health in general; thus, it is important for speech-language pathologists to assess children with a suspected disorder as soon as possible to plan for and quickly deliver intervention services. In the United States, evaluations for DLD are most commonly available in English. However, the increasing population of schoolchildren whose first language (L1) is not English has created a demand for assessments written in other languages, especially Spanish. Speech-language pathologists attempt to compensate for the lack of Spanish-language exams by simply translating existing English assessments directly into Spanish. This project investigated the challenges that occur with this tactic. First, scores on translated evaluations for DLD are only normed for monolingual children who speak English. Therefore, bilingual children whose L1 is Spanish are inaccurately compared to the wrong population and appear to perform lower than average on evaluations, leading to an overidentification of DLD in bilingual children. Secondly, tests that have been translated do not account for the cultural discrepancies and resulting natural language differences that exist between English-speaking monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals. These phonological, syntactical, and semantic variations cause a bilingual child with less exposure to English to perform below the norm on an assessment that has been translated by rote, leading to misdiagnosis of DLD. The project further investigated a possible solution to these problems. Dynamic assessment, which assesses a child’s capacity for learning through a test-teach-retest method, is becoming a preferred method for identifying DLD due to its responsiveness to the needs of the individual.