Date of Award

8-2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Studies (to 2007)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the assessment procedures and practices of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) employed in the state of Michigan. A survey method was used to gather information from 409 SLPs regarding the assessment procedures used for assessing both their bilingual students, as well as their monolingual English-speaking students. The survey also gathered information regarding perceptions about language proficiency, professional training, and bilingual assessment products. In order to analyze factors related to their use of recommended practices, the study investigated the relationship between selected demographic, caseload, and work-setting variables, and the type of bilingual assessment methods SLPs most frequently employed. Data were analyzed using a combination of descriptive and inferential statistics. Whereas the frequency with which SLPs used specific assessment procedures were described using descriptive analyses, relationships between selected factors and SLPs' use of recommended practices were analyzed using correlation analyses and mixed-model analyses of variance (ANOVA). Findings of this study documented striking similarities between the assessment procedures SLPs use with English-speaking students and those used with bilingual students. Results also indicated that SLPs' assessment practices conformed more closely to federal and professional recommendations when they assessed monolingual children than when they tested bilingual children. This study also found that although SLPs perceive themselves as not being adequately prepared to assess bilingual children, many feel competent to participate in the decision-making process regarding students' eligibility for special education or speech and language services--based on their age and years of professional experience. Results of this study extend the research on monolingual SLPs' assessment practices with bilingual children, and provide a model for investigating the extent to which 'actual' practice conforms to 'research-based' recommendations for practice.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access