My collaborators and I did a number of studies of morphosyntax, semantics, phonology and pragmatics that informed development of the final version of the BESA. We’ve since done other studies using the BESA as an indicator of language impairment or phonological impairment. In addition, it is important to have independent studies of the BESA that evaluate its effectiveness. There are a few studies so far that use the BESA, and I hope soon there will be more. Here is what I think is only a partial list:
Hambly, Wren, McLeod, & Roulstone conducted a systematic review of studies of speech sound acquisition in bilinguals. Their results indicated that the BESA was one of the top two measures among the ones they studied.
Restrepo, Morgan & Thompson used subtests of the BESA to look at the effects of 4 different interventions for ELLs. They were able to document changes that children made in intervention to identify what works for bilingual children with language impairment.
Anthony, Aghara, Solari, Dunkelberger, Williams, & Liang used the phonology subtest of BESA as one of their measures to examine phonological representations in Spanish-speaking preschool children.
Tejada & deVilliers used an experimental (longer) version of the BESOS (the screener) to test its concurrent validity with the EOWPVT, the WH questions from the DELV and a Complement Clause Comprehension task. They found that the English BESOS scores at the end of preschool significantly predicted performance on the WJIII Letter and Word Identification and Passage Comprehension subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement Tests at the end of first grade.
Castilla, Restrepo, and Perez-Leroux use the BESA to examine children’s semantics and morphosyntax in preschool. They found that Spanish scores on the BESA at the beginning of the school year predicted English scores at the end of the school year, demonstrating cross-linguistic associations between the two languages.
Rochel Lazewnik used the BESA, along with the EOWPVT, CELF, and PLS (all in Spanish and English) to see how well each test differentiated among children with and without language impairment. The BESA, CELF, and PLS Spanish all differentiated children with and without language impairment at acceptable levels. BESA Spanish morphosyntax differentiated the two groups most strongly.
These additional studies that show that the BESA works to identify language impairment, correlates significantly with other measures of language (or related areas) and does a good job at capturing change.