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

Journal article


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. https://doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2012.762043
AuthorsPearce, Wendy M. and Williams, Cori
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.

Keywordsdiagnosis; language assessment; school-aged children; dialect; Aboriginal English
Year2013
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Journal citation15 (4), pp. 429 - 440
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1754-9515
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2012.762043
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84880115920
Page range429 - 440
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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