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Planning interventions for English Language Learners using English test results


Deborah Rhein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. New Mexico State University. Speaker background ... Currently a faculty member at New Mexico State University ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Planning interventions for English Language Learners using English test results

Planning interventions for English Language
Learners using English test results
  • By
  • Deborah Rhein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • New Mexico State University

Speaker background
  • Spent over a decade providing direct and
    consultative services to school districts for
  • Currently a faculty member at New Mexico State
  • Project director for Bilingual program in
    communication disorders program at NMSU

Core Issues
  • SLPs frequently asked to determine difference
    versus disorder in students who are not native
    speakers of English
  • Usually requires use of assessments in both
  • If using a standardized assessment in English,
    most SLPs opt to not use the normative data

Assessment purposes
  • Two purposes
  • 1) Establish benchmarks of childs language
    knowledge in all of his/her languages
  • 2) Determination of disability make statements
    about language-learning ability

Establish benchmarks of childs linguistic
  • Bilingual children have varied opportunities to
    learn in either of their languages, all normative
    data does need to be interpreted with caution
  • Normative data provides estimates of childs
    linguistic knowledge in comparison to classmates
  • This provides opportunities for SLPs to address
    linguistic demands of the classroom

One option Use of standardized batteries but
only reporting raw scores
  • Rationale
  • Standardized batteries allow examiner to explore
    several aspects of language knowledge in
    relatively short period of time
  • Fear of misidentifying ELLs as having a
    disability is primary reason for not using
    English normative data

Option Use of standardized batteries but only
reporting raw scores
  • Problems
  • -Raw scores are meaningless in and of themselves
  • -Raw score reporting do not allow examiners to
    compare and contrast knowledge of different
    aspects of language within a child
  • -Raw scores do not allow the examiner to compare
    knowledge of English to classmates and classroom

ESL requirement
  • As long as a school has 10 or more students who
    are not native speakers of English, must provide
    and ESL program to assist students who are
    learning English (the 10 students may have 10
    different native languages)
  • If fewer than 10 students, must have IEP for
    second language, not special education
  • Progress in learning English must be evaluated

  • Referral for speech language evaluation may occur
    when student is still receiving ESL services
  • Referral for assessment often occurs after
    student has been labeled FEP (Fully English
    Proficient) and exited from ESL program
  • FEP label usually means students receive no
    classroom accommodations or modifications

  • Results of our language assessment may indicate
    areas where student still requires
    modification/accommodations to succeed in general
  • That data can only be obtained using normative
    data that compares student to monolingual peers

Reporting Scores for English CELF-IV
Reporting Scores for English CELF-IV
  • FEP label does not mean student doesnt still
    require accommodations/modifications to succeed
    in general classroom
  • Analysis of case indicates child would be at
    significant disadvantage if placed in
    English-only classroom without additional supports

Need to be very clear about limits and purposes
of using English norms
  • For reporting purposes, raw scores have been
    converted to standard scores, which compare Xs
    performance to monolingual peers. Low scores in a
    second language should not be considered an
    indication of a language disorder, but rather are
    useful in understanding the disadvantage an
    incomplete acquisition of English would create if
    a child were required to function in an English
    classroom without modifications or
  • --Rhein, 2009

Establishment of disability
  • Make statements about language-learning ability
  • Core assumption the child has had adequate
    opportunity to learn that which he/she is being
    tested on
  • Good reason for caution when using norms based on
    monolingual peers

Using English test results to establish disability
  • Normative scores of English results useful to
    explore overall pattern of knowledge
  • If scores are low in both languages in one
    area, for example, syntax, that provides some
    support for possible SLI, provided language
    sample analysis and other sources support this

If using English norms, acknowledge that
comparisons are made to monolingual peers
  • Because comparisons are being made between X,
    who is not a native speaker of English and native
    speakers, low scores by themselves should not be
    considered evidence of a language disorder.
    However, comparisons between the performance in
    the first and second language may reveal overall
    patterns of linguistic strengths and weaknesses.
  • --Rhein, 2009

Analysis of patterns in L1 and L2
  • Caveat
  • Because of possibility of L1 language loss, low
    scores in L1 are not always indicative of a
    disability either

In addition
  • Standardized tests results only one part of an
  • Should include information on home and school
    language use and history
  • Performance measures from home and school work
  • Language sample analysis in both languages

(No Transcript)
Analysis of patterns in L1 and L2
  • X scores in Spanish are WNL except for two
  • Xs scores are lowest on the same two subtests
    (CD and RS) in both languages
  • These subtests rely on auditory memory

  • In general, X does not appear to have a
    generalized language learning disorder. However,
    X does display lower scores in both languages on
    tasks rely heavily on auditory memory.

Recommendations for further evaluation
  • Comprehensive evaluation of auditory memory if
    other indications are present, to include
    anecdotal evidence from parents and teachers in
    both languages
  • Consider possibility of referral for CAPD if
    other indications are present

Xs English skills indicate need
  • All Xs skills in English place him at
    disadvantage compared to monolingual peers
  • Provide opportunities for him to demonstrate
    knowledge in ways that rely less heavily on
    linguistic knowledge
  • Example If studying Aztecs, allow him to make a
    temple or demonstrate by a dance research
    materials rather than written report

Other recommendations for in class scaffolding
  • Introduce novel vocabulary in ways that allows X
    to experience new word
  • Provide multiple opportunities to use novel
  • Break multi-step instructions down
  • Older gradesprovide advance organizers for

Final thoughts
  • ELL students require between 7 to 10 years to
    develop academic English proficiency, so should
    have classroom modification opportunities
    throughout most of K-12
  • Differentiating disorder versus difference is
    only one part of our assessmentswe have an
    obligation to provide suggestions that will help
    a child succeed whether or not there is a disorder