|From the CEEE and
the Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation
Spotting Language Problems
||Spotting Language Problems|
||Los Amigos Research Associates|
||English Language Learner (ELL)|
The SLP is a criterion-referenced test designed to assist educators in the initial identification of monolingual English-speaking school children with language problems, as well as Limited English Proficient (LEP) children whose first language is not English. It is intended to help teachers make appropriate referrals to specialists, NOT as a substitute for in-depth evaluation. The test identifies seven language problems selected from relevant research: linguistic nonfluency (hesitation), revisions, delays before responding, use of non-specific vocabulary, inappropriate response, poor topic maintenance, and the need for repetition. A numerical continuum of criteria for these seven problem areas help identify levels of performance that could indicate the need for academic intervention. One study of predictive validity (N=48) shows that teacher referrals based on SLP scores are confirmed by language program specialists 83% of the time. Overall test-retest reliability ranges from .94 to .98. The test is administered over several weeks with each observation of a specific problem area involving at least two minutes of active and spontaneous communication with the examinee. Each of the seven problem areas should be evaluated between 4 and 7 times depending on the consistency of the results. Observations are recorded on a score sheet immediately after they occur and an average taken for each problem area after observations are complete. Thorough training for test administrators is required and the test package includes guidelines for this training program.