Matching Items (5)

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Dynamic assessment of narratives among Navajo Head Start children

Description

Purpose: Over-identification of Navajo Head Start children into special education on the Navajo Reservation has come to the attention of Tribal leaders, Educational leaders, and parents due to the use

Purpose: Over-identification of Navajo Head Start children into special education on the Navajo Reservation has come to the attention of Tribal leaders, Educational leaders, and parents due to the use of invalid assessment measures. Dynamic assessment (DA) of narratives may be a tool for distinguishing language differences from language disorders. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL), a dynamic assessment of narratives, accurately classifies Navajo Head Start students with typically developing (TD) language or with language impairment (LI), and to examine which measures best predict children’s overall performances on the PEARL.

Method: Ninety, 4- and 5-year-old Navajo preschoolers with LI and with TD language were selected. Children completed the PEARL, which measured both language comprehension and production using pretest and posttest scores, and a modifiability scale. In addition, children completed the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental, Preschool, Second Edition (CELF – Preschool 2) and language samples. A Navajo Speech Language Pathologist confirmed the diagnosis of the participants. Research assistants pretested, briefly taught the principles of narrative structure (story grammar, language complexity and episode) and evaluated response to learning using an index of modifiability.

Results: Results of discriminant analysis indicated that PEARL pretest differentiated both ability groups with 89% accuracy. In addition, posttest scores discriminated with 89% accuracy and modifiability scores with 100% accuracy. Further, the subtest story grammar was the best predictor at pretest and posttest, although modifiability scores were better predictors of both ability groups.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that the PEARL is a promising assessment for accurately differentiating Navajo preschool children with LI from Navajo preschool children with TD language. The PEARL’s recommended pretest cut score over-identified Navajo children with TD language; therefore, a new recommended cut score was determined.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Executive function in preschoolers with primary language impairment

Description

Research suggests that some children with primary language impairment (PLI)

have difficulty with certain aspects of executive function; however, most studies examining executive function have been conducted using tasks that require

Research suggests that some children with primary language impairment (PLI)

have difficulty with certain aspects of executive function; however, most studies examining executive function have been conducted using tasks that require children to use language to complete the task. As a result, it is unclear whether poor performance on executive function tasks was due to language impairment, to executive function deficits, or both. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether preschoolers with PLI have deficits in executive function by comprehensively examining inhibition, updating, and mental set shifting using tasks that do and do not required language to complete the tasks.

Twenty-two four and five-year-old preschoolers with PLI and 30 age-matched preschoolers with typical development (TD) completed two sets of computerized executive function tasks that measured inhibition, updating, and mental set shifting. The first set of tasks were language based and the second were visually-based. This permitted us to test the hypothesis that poor performance on executive function tasks results from poor executive function rather than language impairment. A series of one-way analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) were completed to test whether there was a significant between-group difference on each task after controlling for attention scale scores. In each analysis the between-group factor was group and the covariate was attention scale scores.

Results showed that preschoolers with PLI showed difficulties on a broad range of linguistic and visual executive function tasks even with scores on an attention measure covaried. Executive function deficits were found for linguistic inhibition, linguistic and visual updating, and linguistic and visual mental set shifting. Overall, findings add to evidence showing that the executive functioning deficits of children with PLI is not limited to the language domain, but is more general in nature. Implications for early assessment and intervention will be discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Latent language ability groups in bilingual children across three methods of assessment

Description

Differentiating bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI) from those with typical development in the process of learning a second language has been a challenge. Studies have focused on improving

Differentiating bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI) from those with typical development in the process of learning a second language has been a challenge. Studies have focused on improving the diagnostic accuracy of language measures for bilinguals. However, researchers are faced with two main challenges when estimating the diagnostic accuracy of new measures: (a) using an a priori diagnosis of children (children with and without PLI), as a reference may introduce error given there is no gold standard for the a priori classification; and (b) classifying children into only two groups may be another source of error given evidence that there may be more than two language ability groups with different strengths and weaknesses or, alternatively, a single group characterized by a continuum of language performance. The current study tested for the number of distinct language ability groups and their characteristics in predominately Spanish-speaking children in the U.S. without using an a priori classification as a reference. In addition, the study examined to what extent the latent groups differed on each measure, and the stability of language ability groups across three assessment methods in Spanish (standardized tests, language sample analyses, and comprehensive assessment), taking in to account English and non-verbal cognitive skills. The study included 431 bilingual children attending English-only education. Three latent profile analyses were conducted, one for each method of assessment. Results suggested more than two distinct language ability groups in the population with the method of assessment influencing the number and characteristics of the groups. Specifically, four groups were estimated based on the comprehensive assessment, and three based on standardized assessment or language sample analysis in Spanish. The stability of the groups was high on average, particularly between the comprehensive assessment and the standardized measures. Results indicate that an a priori classification of children into two groups, those with and without PLI, could lead to misclassification, depending on the measures used.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Using funds of knowledge to build trust between a teacher and parents of language-delayed preschoolers

Description

Preschool children with language delays often struggle to learn new concepts. Proven strategies such as modeling, prompting, reinforcing responses, direct teaching, and hands-on experience matter to young children with language

Preschool children with language delays often struggle to learn new concepts. Proven strategies such as modeling, prompting, reinforcing responses, direct teaching, and hands-on experience matter to young children with language delays. Also important are social interactions and shared experiences with more knowledgeable persons. Within a cultural context Funds of Knowledge, that is the talents, traditions, and abilities families possess and pass down to their children may be a context for these. However, despite their importance the value Funds of Knowledge have has not been explored with parents of children with special needs. This action research study used a mixed-methods design to understand if Funds of Knowledge could be used as context to improve communication between parents and their children and build trust between parents and a teacher. Seven families participated in the study. Quantitative data were gathered with surveys and were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Qualitative data consisted of transcripts from home-visit interviews, parent presentations, and a focus group, and were analyzed with a grounded theory approach. Results indicate parents entered the study with trust in the teacher especially in terms of having competence in her abilities. Data also show that parents used the language strategies provided to improve communication with their children. Data also indicate that the use of a Funds of Knowledge activity allowed parents to share their knowledge and interests with their children and children in the classroom, feel empowered, and express emotions. From these findings, implication for practice and further research are provided.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Second language proficiency in sequential bilingual Children with and without primary language impairment

Description

Identification of primary language impairment (PLI) in sequential bilingual children is challenging because of the interaction between PLI and second language (L2) proficiency. An important step in improving the accurate

Identification of primary language impairment (PLI) in sequential bilingual children is challenging because of the interaction between PLI and second language (L2) proficiency. An important step in improving the accurate diagnosis of PLI in bilingual children is to investigate how differences in L2 performance are affected by a length of L2 exposure and how L2 assessment contributes to differentiation between children with and without PLI at different L2 proficiency levels. Sixty one children with typical language development (TD) ages 5;3-8 years and 12 children with PLI ages 5;5-7;8 years participated. Results revealed that bilingual children with and without PLI, who had between 1 and 3 years of L2 exposure, did not differ in mean length of utterance (MLU), number of different words, percent of maze words, and performance on expressive and receptive grammatical tasks in L2. Performance on a grammaticality judgment task by children with and without PLI demonstrated the largest effect size, indicating that it may potentially contribute to identification of PLI in bilingual populations. In addition, children with PLI did not demonstrate any association between the length of exposure and L2 proficiency, suggesting that they do not develop their L2 proficiency in relation to length of exposure in the same manner as children with TD. Results also indicated that comprehension of grammatical structures and expressive grammatical task in L2 may contribute to differentiation between the language ability groups at the low and intermediate-high proficiency levels. The discriminant analysis with the entire sample of bilingual children with and without PLI revealed that among L2 measures, only MLU contributed to the discrimination between the language ability groups. However, poor classification accuracy suggested that MLU alone is not a sufficient predictor of PLI. There were significant differences among L2 proficiency levels in children with TD in MLU, number of different words, and performance on the expressive and receptive grammatical tasks in L2, indicating that L2 proficiency level may potentially impact the differentiation between language difficulties due to typical L2 acquisition processes and PLI.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012