Evaluating Language Skills in Students Who Speak a Language You Don’t


Course Type: Video – 1 hour

ASHA Course Code: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education, Training, Service Delivery, Public Policy – 7030

We can evaluate any student who comes from any language background! In this course we show you how to alter your testing and find and work with an interpreter.

We will walk through the process of preparing for and effectively executing evaluations for students who speak a language you do not. We discuss the questions to ask and the information needed on the front end. We share great resources and talk about important questions to ask potential interpreters, as well as training procedures for interpreters.

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If you test diverse children you need this book!


Adult, Early Childhood, School Age


1 hour


.1 Continuing Education Unit


Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), Evaluations



FINANCIAL: Ellen Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an employee of Bilinguistics and receives a salary. Bilinguistics receives royalty payments for online courses.
NON-FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Ellen Kester does not have any non-financial relationships to disclose.

Half of our time spent testing children with language disorders is focused on receptive language. But is this true of our intervention? If you are like most therapists then you spend a great deal of time working on expressive language abilities. As a field we are slowly waking up to the fact that receptive language intervention may have a dramatic impact on a client’s progress. Here’s why:

1. If a child can attend then he is more likely to remember and produce expressive language.
2. Receptive language is larger than expressive language.
That is to say, that for every word we can say we comprehend way more. No one knows for sure the exact ratio but information on second-language acquisition suggests comprehension abilities can be 5X greater than speaking abilities.

3. Attention deficits and poor vocabulary acquisition are two of the most common referral concerns.
When we co-evaluation students with diagnosticians the difference between receptive language and oral comprehension is one area that we are always trying to ferret out.

Participants will be able to:
1. Describe two important steps to take prior to the evaluation.
2. List the three different steps of working with interpreters.
3. Describe the process of selecting assessment tools for students who speak a language you do not.
4. Describe how to differentiate language influence patterns from language errors indicative of a disorder.
5. Describe how to use dynamic assessment to improve diagnostic accuracy.

Time-Ordered Agenda

10 minutes: Introduction and current relevance of topic
10 minutes: Working with Interpreters with case studies
10 minutes: Things to consider when selecting assessment tools and procedures
15 minutes: Differentiating language influence patterns from language errors indicative of a disorder with case studies
15 minutes: Using Dynamic Assessment to improve diagnostic accuracy with case studies

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