Case Study: Walking through a bilingual language sample

This is a follow up to last week’s post:  Verb Errors of Spanish Speakers.

Let’s follow this conversation as we walk through what to do with a language sample.  An SLP watched this post: How to do a Language Sample, and came up with these great questions.

I have finished language samples on two of my kiddos and I was hoping you could give me some feedback to see if I am heading on the right track.  Here is a sample of my first kiddo who I am recommending therapy for:”

Bilingual Language Sample #1

Spanish Story Telling

Ta con su rana.
Ahi se va salir x2
Quien es el?  Cual es su nombre?
Una cama.
Niño.
Ta durmiendo.
Quien?
El niño.
Se va a salir.
Se estaba saliendo.
Quien se está saliendo?
Eso.
El rana.
La rana ya no está.
No esta.
Esto una parte.
Buscando sus zapatos.
Van a buscarlo.
Ta gritando.

English Story Telling

He’s xxx his frog.
The frog went.
It’s gonna get lost.
The frog is not here.
He no got found.
He no got found the frog.
No got the frog, because the frog is lost.
They XXX the frog.
These. The boy is going up here.
And they are. They are. The beehives. And the beehives.
It got the beehive gonna fall and the boy is going to up on the this.
The the frog is XXX.
The frog is not here.

 

 

“What I see here is that he is not using a variety of nouns and verbs when he describes the pictures in the story. He also has a very low MLU for his age. XXX means it was unintelligible.”

Bilingual Language Sample #2

Spanish Story Telling

El nino y el perro están mirando a la the frog.
Y el chiquino niño estaba sentando el pequeño silla.
Y and the frog got out.
Y el nino y el perro esta dormido.
Y el niño y el perro se levanto y frog se y frog no estaba allí.
Y el niño chiquito ponio su chamarra y el perro ponio eso en su cabeza.
Y el niño dijo frog, frog dónde estás?
Y el perro se cayó.
El niño se bajo también y agarró el perro.
Y el niño estaba cartiendo the frog y el perro estaba mirando esto.
Y el perro estaba agarrando, no puede agarrar esto.
Y el niño estaba, miendo (mirando) ahí y esta cosa la pico a nariz.
Y el perro estaba asi y asi.

 

 

 

English Story Telling

Uhhhm.
Frog is in the umm, fowl (bowl)?
And dog is looking at it.
And then the kid is sitting on a chair, a little chair and staring at the frog.
And then dog and the little kid ent to sleep and then the frog got out and then the little kid.
It was morning time.
And then the little kid and the dog didn’t see the frog anymore.
And then he put on his clothes, his jacket and then the frog (mean dog, not frog) was put in that thing on his face.
And then the little kid was calling the frog’s name.
And then he was saying frog, frog, where are you?
And then they didn’t see him.
They didn’t see the frog right there.
And then the frog (meant dog) was trying to take that thing off the tree.
And then the little boy was talking to that hole.

“What I see here is that this kiddo included a lot of more detail in her story. When the student didn’t know the word for frog in Spanish she used the English one. The language samples are much longer. I just didn’t want to bombard you with all of it. Thank you so much!”

bilingual language sampleHi, It looks like you are on the right track!

After I take a bilingual language sample,  I mark the samples with red and green.  Green is native-language influenced or second-language influenced, red is – I can’t explain it or It is wrong.

Then, I use the Assessment of Fictional Narratives to improve my gut feeling.  The first page is for marking all of the grammar that is present and missing.  The second page looks for narrative markers.  It is a great way to tell what abilities a child has and what he should work on (e.g. goals).

The first child looks problematic. I see a bunch of narrative concerns (no character introduction, not mentioning setting, no continuance words / cohesive elements such as first/then/after/at the end, no emotion/state mentioned…).

 The second one looks pretty typical.  I would bet that formal tests on both match the results you have here.  Good job.

Once you wrap your mind around this like you have, we become highly effective speech pathologists.

Thanks again to Maida B. in North Carolina for this question!

Written by: Scott Prath

6 Comments on “Case Study: Walking through a bilingual language sample”

  1. January 27, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

    Wow! Perfect timing. This was extremely helpful. I’m currently trying to incorporate more language sampling and dynamic assessment techniques for bilingual evaluations. The Assessment of Fictional Narratives checklist will definitely come in handy.
    Thank you for all the great resources on your website.

    • February 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

      Glad you find our resources useful! Thanks for the feedback!

  2. March 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    This is WONDERFUL! THANK YOU!

    • March 7, 2018 at 8:20 am #

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We love hearing from our blog community!

  3. August 2, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Scott,
    May I use this article (with credit to you and the link to it, of course) in its entirety for the newsletter we publish in the SLP Dept. in my district? It illustrates a great way to analyze a language sample! We have ordered several copies of the Differences book and with that resource, SLPs should be in good shape!
    Thanks!

    • August 2, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Sandra,
      Definitely you can site us and link back to the article. I just wrote for ASHA on the same topic and presented at ASHA Connect too: The How and Why of Collecting a Language Sample. And let your staff know that we started doing webinars where we broadcast into your speech meetings or in-service days. This is a really fun topic to cover and people can get really good at assessing kids who don’t speak their language in 90 minutes: Webinars Thanks for your comment! Scott

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