Clinical Issues: Dynamic Assessment of Children From Culturally Diverse Backgrounds Traditionally, speech-language pathologists diagnose language impairment by comparing children’s performance on standardized language tests to the norms published in test manuals. Children who score below some pre-determined cut-off value are judged to be impaired. However, such a static approach does not consider the reasons that children may not score within ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   July 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Dynamic Assessment of Children From Culturally Diverse Backgrounds
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Elizabeth D. Penña
    University of Texas at Austin
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   July 01, 2004
Clinical Issues: Dynamic Assessment of Children From Culturally Diverse Backgrounds
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2004, Vol. 11, 2-5. doi:10.1044/lle11.2.2
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2004, Vol. 11, 2-5. doi:10.1044/lle11.2.2
Traditionally, speech-language pathologists diagnose language impairment by comparing children’s performance on standardized language tests to the norms published in test manuals. Children who score below some pre-determined cut-off value are judged to be impaired. However, such a static approach does not consider the reasons that children may not score within the normal range. When tests are given to children from non-mainstream backgrounds, the traditional approach to identification is untenable. It is nearly impossible for clinicians to use the results of standardized testing to determine whether below average performance reflects cultural differences, lack of experience, or actual language-learning impairments. Language sampling and observation can be useful for determining whether there is a mismatch between communicative ability and communicative expectations. However, observation does not readily demonstrate whether a mismatch between communication abilities and expectations results from lack of experience, lack of language learning abilities, or a combination of both.
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