After last week’s post on nonword repetition tasks, there were a lot of questions about nonword repetition tasks for Spanish speakers, as well as scoring procedures and interpretation guidelines. Here’s a quick follow-up briefly summarizing some resources. I’ve included the citations below so you can get the nitty gritty details if you need them.
Gutiérrez-Clellen and Simon-Cerejido ask the question, “Does the language of assessment matter?” Briefly, yes, it does. The authors found that children performed differently on nonword repetition tasks that were based on English rules than they did for nonwords based on Spanish rules.
In this article the authors constructed a list of 20 nonwords that are consistent with Spanish phonogy and phonotactic constraints. They presented data on 14 children. Their preliminary results indicated an effect for age and word length. A lot of the studies of Spanish-speaking children are based on this set of nonwords.
In this article the authors discuss administration and elicitation procedures, many of which are based on Dollaghan & Campbell’s (1998) early work in this area. Guiberson & Rodríguez also include a detailed discussion of the two primary approaches to scoring nonword repetition tasks. These are percentage of phonemes correct, in which each vowel and consonant phoneme is scored as correct or incorrect. The number of correct phoneme productions is divided by the total possible phonemes to get a percentage. The other is item level scoring in which each item is either correct or incorrect. Item level scoring is easier, quicker, and has been found to be more sensitive to differentiating children with language impairment from those with typical development. That’s a good thing for clinicians! The authors in this study also included 5-syllable nonwords in their study to increase classification accuracy for older preschoolers.
Windsor and colleagues explored the use of NRT with monolingual and bilingual children with LI and typical development. They found that performance was impacted by both LI and native language experiences.
So, what’s the takeaway for nonword repetition tasks and our diverse populations? We need to take language exposure into account in our assessment process. Check out our course, Difference or Disorder? Speech Development in English Language Learners, for more information.