Posts Tagged BESA
There’s a new paper out in AJSLP by Sharynne McLeod and Sarah Verdon. I think it’s a great resource for those of us who do bilingual assessment. Additionally, I think it’s an excellent example of how to review and select tests to use for diagnostic purposes. Over the last 10 or so years, there’s been a growing emphasis on evidence-based practice in speech-language pathology. We can’t simply use the tests we’ve always used because we are familiar and comfortable with them. We need to be able to justify our selections, and make our selections based on the best available scientific evidence. Read the rest of this entry »
When working with bilingual children, it is a matter of course that one will need to translate from one language to another. Children who are English language learners may need instructions or directions translated so that they can know what to do. Curricula may need to be translated to maximize learning. Tests are also translated for ease of assessment of knowledge in a given domain. In the area of speech and language assessment however, translation is not the best option. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been a busy year., and we have more to come. This year one of our big accomplishments was to launch the BESA, a speech and language test for children 4 to 7. It was a long project, but we are very satisfied with the test and how well it works to identify speech and language impairment in bilingual children. A serous problem in the field has been that there are so few instruments to properly identify impairments in bilinguals. There result is that these kids are assessed with instruments that have not been proven to work well with bilinguals. Worse some may overidentify children as having impairment when they are in the process of learning English as a second language. Another problem is that these kids can be missed altogether. Sometimes district personnel will wait for the child to have enough English to test them. Waiting can result in falling further behind because services that might have helped are not provided.
We’re very excited to let everyone know that now, after a number of years of development and testing the BESA is available to speech-language pathologists.
WHAT IS THE BESA? WHAT DOES IT DO?
My co-authors and I developed the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA) in response to a critical need for valid, reliable instruments to assessment of speech and language ability in Spanish-English bilingual children. It focuses on children (ages 4 years, 0 months through 6 years, 11 months) who have varying levels of Spanish-English bilingualism. BESA was specifically developed to determine if speech and/or language errors observed in some young children were due to limited exposure to English or to a language impairment. We know that with time, children with typical development will learn a second language. But, at the same time, early intervention for children who have speech and language impairment is critical.
Across both these posts, presentations, chapters and journal articles, I often say that we need to test children in both of their languages. I think that many of us know that. The question however is what do you do with that information once you’ve obtained it. Read the rest of this entry »
Last month I posted saying I was working on the validity analyses for the Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA) that is hopefully soon to be published and available for clinicians. Today, I’ll tell you a little about the results. As many of you know, a number of years ago we (Vera Gutierrez-Clellen, Aquiles Iglesias, and I) got an NIH contract to explore typical and atypical speech and language development in Spanish-English bilingual children. Brian Goldstein and Lisa Bedore joined our team about a year later. The results of the 7 year project were to have a measure that would identify bilingual children with language impairment and phonological impairment. Read the rest of this entry »
We made a BESA fan page: https://www.facebook.com/besabilingual
It’s almost the end of the month and I realize I haven’t posted anything since the 4th. It’s been a month of travel and family celebrations, weddings, major birthdays and so on. But, every morning (or at least most mornings) I’ve been getting up to work on the BESA. We’re inching our way closer to finishing up the chapters. The one I’m working on now is validity. Read the rest of this entry »
This week I’ve been working on the background section for the BESA (cautiously moving toward publication, we’ll announce it when we have a publisher). I’m amazed at what we knew (or didn’t) when we first proposed the project. We wrote up the project proposal summarizing probably everything we knew about bilingual language impairment. At that time, most of the available reports were small n studies and case studies including those by Raquel Anderson. This gave us some indicators of what might be areas of difficulty for bilinguals with language impairment. We also looked to the then emerging crosslinguistic literature on language impairment. Most of this was based on work by Larry Leonard and colleagues.
Some of the work with bilinguals was on the errors that typical children made which overlapped with those made by monolingual English speakers with language impairment. So, we knew we needed to try to look for common errors and to compare children by level of language exposure. We were greatly influenced here by Valdes and Figueroa.
We didn’t know whether bilinguals with language impairment would look like monolinguals with language impairment or not. The answer is they do and they don’t. Language of exposure matters and the amount of exposure matters as well. It’s exciting to see how much more is known in the field and it’s great to see convergence of our findings and that in other labs including work by Kathy Kohnert and work by Laida Restrepo. We’re also starting to see convergence with other language pairs as well.
We continue to make progress, although sometimes it seems very little, but when I look back to where we started, I do see that we know a lot more.