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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Use of Interpreters by Speech-Language Pathologists Conducting Bilingual Speech-Language Assessments
by Palfrey, Carol Lynn, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2013, 227; 3557570
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this non-experimental quantitative study was to explore the practices of speech-language pathologists in conducting bilingual assessments with interpreters. Data were obtained regarding the assessment tools and practices used by speech-language pathologists, the frequency with which they work with interpreters, and the procedures they employ prior to, during, and at the conclusion of assessments of English language learners (ELLs). Also explored were the skills and proficiencies that speech-language pathologists believe interpreters need in order to be effective in interpreting for assessments.

Data for the study were obtained from surveys completed by a sample of speech-language pathologists working in a large, diverse public school district in the mid-Atlantic region. The survey consisted of rating scales, forced choice questions, and open ended questions. Results were reported via descriptive statistics and through description of participants' responses to open-ended questions.

Results of the study indicated that the participants engaged in best practices in bilingual assessment as defined by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (2004a, 1999) to a greater extent than has been previously reported in the literature. However, considerable variation existed among participants regarding adherence to best practices, including the decision regarding whether or not to work with an interpreter when assessing ELLs. Study results indicated that participants continue to rely heavily on the use of formal measures standardized on monolingual, English-speaking children when assessing ELLs. Participants were also found to employ identical assessment procedures (assessing first in English without an interpreter, and then bringing in an interpreter for a subsequent testing session) regardless of the English language proficiency of the child. Participants in large measure valued the skills and proficiencies cited in the literature as desirable for interpreters to have, yet they did not express confidence that their interpreters possess these skills.

The implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations are offered for clinical practice, the school districts, graduate schools, and professional development training aimed at improving bilingual assessment practices. Finally, suggestions are offered for future research on bilingual assessment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shotel, Jay
Commitee: Chamot, Anna, Dannels, Sharon
School: The George Washington University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Special education
Keywords: Assessment, Bilingual speech-language, English language learner, Interpreters, Speech-language pathologists
Publication Number: 3557570
ISBN: 978-1-303-00749-1
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