These are great questions. One thing I wanted to put out there is that the reason our district decided upon these measures was reactionary to bilingual children not receiving bilingual assessment. There were way too many instances in which the school decided that the bilingual child (who was in monolingual English classroom) did not need bilingual speech-language testing since they were in an English-placement setting.
Secondly, even if we had determined that the child had language abilities in Spanish (L2) and they wanted LD testing they would not request for bilingual academic testing because we were testing for “language” and so….. we (the bilingual SLPs) started to give the WMLS to document that the child demonstrated academic skills and therefore needed to be tested in both languages for LD assessment (or at least consider which IQ test to administer).
I think that our district has come leaps and bounds since then and the flowchart should be revised. At the beginning of the flowchart is stated that if the child had significant exposure to another language that it must be investigated. We did narrative samples in L1 and L2 and conversational samples in L1 and L2 and if LD was being requested then we would also give the WMLS to demonstrate that the child needed to be looked at bilingually as well. Ellen, you mentioned the last time we met that it’s usually the LSSPs that give the WMLS, well at the time no one was giving it so the SLPs started to do it in reaction to too many people saying the child did NOT need bilingual assessment.
I agree that the CELF scores would score on average 10 points higher than the WMLS. We didn’t use the WMLS for eligibility just to establish that the child needed to be looked at in both languages (in addition to the conversational and narrative samples). Maybe the wording needs to be changed… but the concepts are there. When possible test in both formally and informally, although sometimes informal assessment is only possible in L2. Maybe you can send the flowchart to us to dissect?
Hope all is well!
SLP in Dallas