The cultural appropriateness and diagnostic usefulness of standardized language assessments for Indigenous Australian children

Pearce, Wendy M., and Williams, Cori (2013) The cultural appropriateness and diagnostic usefulness of standardized language assessments for Indigenous Australian children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15 (4). pp. 429-440.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2012....
 
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Abstract

Speech-language pathologists experience uncertainty about how to interpret standardized assessment results for Indigenous Australian children. There are risks for inappropriate diagnosis: both over- and under-diagnosis of language impairment may occur due to a convergence of linguistic features which causes difficulty in distinguishing between impairment and difference. While the literature suggests that standardized assessments are inappropriate for Indigenous Australian children, there is an absence of empirical documentation to show how Indigenous children perform on standardized tests of language ability. This study examined the performance of 19 Indigenous Australian children, aged 8;01–13;08, from one school on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Australian Standardized Edition. Standardized scores were compared with teacher ratings of children's oral language skills. Analysis showed poor alignment between teacher ratings and language assessment, and assessment scores were negatively influenced by features of Aboriginal English. Children rated with above average language skills presented with different linguistic profiles from the children rated with average and below average language abilities. The inappropriateness of current standardized language assessments for Indigenous children and the need for further research to guide appropriate assessment are discussed.

Item ID: 26972
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1754-9515
Keywords: diagnosis; language assessment; school-age children; dialect; Aboriginal English
Date Deposited: 21 May 2013 07:16
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl Physiotherapy) @ 20%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920203 Diagnostic Methods @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 30%
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