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Bilingual Syntax Measure I (BSMI)

Test Name: Bilingual Syntax Measure I (BSMI)
Publisher: The Psychological Corporation
Publication Date: 1980
Test Type: Language Proficiency
Content: Speaking/Listening in L2
Language: Bil. Spanish/English
Target Population: Native Speaker of Spanish / English
Grade Level: K,1,2
Administration Time: Untimed/no guideline
Standardized: Yes
Purpose: Identification; Language Dominance; Placement; Proficiency; Program Exit; Program Evaluation

Together, the Bilingual Syntax Measure (BSM) I and II offer a unified system for continuous assessment of oral proficiency in English and Spanish in children in elementary and secondary school. The BSM I is intended only for kindergarten to grade 2. The BSM II was developed to assess children in grades 3 to 12. Both the BSM I and BSM II distinguish five proficiency levels, which represent the range of skills normally expected of children in kindergarten to grade 2. BSM II extends beyond the five levels to include a sixth level, which reflects advanced skills mastered by students in grades 3 to 12. BSM II also makes provision, at Level 6, for a sociolinguistic distinction between standard and nonstandard usage. BSM II is designed to be used in a variety of research, clinical, and educational settings. Because it measures linguistic proficiency in both English and Spanish, it can provide information about relative proficiency in these two languages in addition to proficiency in each language independently. BSM II can be used to identify students in need of bilingual education, English/Spanish as a Second Language, English/Spanish as a Second Dialect, or other special language development programs including language or speech therapy. BSM II results can be helpful in prescribing appropriate educational placement and treatment. BSM II can be used to evaluate individual growth and to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of special language programs. In addition, BSM II can be used effectively in clinical and research studies concerned with various aspects of language acquisition. The administration of BSM II, like BSM I, approximates a real conversation with a student about cartoon-like pictures. The illustrations and content of BSM II pictures were chosen to be appropriate for older students. The illustrations depict a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The questions allow for a range of unique responses that an examiner can use to maintain the flow of everyday conversation. Answers are recorded on a response sheet and compared to a list of scoring criteria for each question. Expected answers taken from a pilot study of the test are listed and leeway for alternate, syntactically correct answers is given. Examples of incorrect responses are also presented. Every correct response earns one point. Scores are used to place students in one of six categories: No English/Spanish, Receptive English/Spanish Only, Survival English/Spanish, Intermediate English/Spanish, Proficient English/Spanish I, and Proficient English/Spanish II. For BSM II, internal consistency reliability for English ranges from .80 to .90, and from .71 to .82 for Spanish. Test-retest reliability in English ranges from .82 to .84, and from .88 to .96 in Spanish. Estimates of reliability and validity for BSM I are not part of the EAC East collection. The BSM is criterion-referenced and does not offer percentile comparisons.

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