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English Test Items and PLS-5 Spanish


 

Question:
Why can’t I use the English test items that are on the PLS-5 Spanish with my English speaking students since PLS-5 Spanish is a “dual-language” test?

Answer:
PLS-5 Spanish items are ordered based on data collected from Spanish speaking children living in the United States and Puerto Rico. The item set, item order, and normative scores reflect the performance of children whose first language is Spanish, not English. Using the translated English items on PLS-5 Spanish to assess children who are monolingual English speakers are likely to result in inaccurate scores because children are being compared to an incorrect reference group

Wait Times Between Test Administrations


Question:

How much time should I wait between test administrations?

Answer:

The answer is that our tests (actually no tests) conduct studies to determine "optimal time between test sessions" because there are so many examinee variables in play.

Our recommendation is that you wait to retest a child until one or more of the following conditions are met.

You may retest a child if:

  1. Enough time has elapsed that the child is now in the next norm group (exception: the child was tested the first time shortly before he "aged out" from the previous norm group)
  2. Enough time has elapsed that the child no longer remembers his or her responses during the first test session, and/or
  3. Enough time has elapsed that there is evidence that the child has made progress (otherwise, why put the child through another test session.)

The “Impact Factor”


Question:

What does a journal’s “impact factor” mean?

Answer:

Essentially, the impact factor is a calculation of how frequently the articles in the journal are cited elsewhere—that is, the level of impact that the research in a journal has beyond itself. The higher the impact number, the better the journal is perceived.

The impact factor is a creation of Thomson Reuters. A helpful essay by the founder of Thomson Reuters (then named The Institute for Scientific Information®) can be scanned quickly here (use link below).

http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/free/essays/impact_factor/

Here’s a recent SLP example, shared by Dr. Yaruss: Pascal van Lieshout, Editor in Chief for the Journal of Fluency Disorders (JFD) reported at the International Fluency Association (IFA) conference in France earlier this month that the impact factor for JFD is 4.8 – a record high and much higher than other journals in the field. Several of the most cited papers involve issues related to the speaker’s experience of stuttering (including factors such as anxiety and quality of life, which are evaluated through the OASES).

CLQT Symbol Trails


Question:

On Symbol Trails, the examinee did Trials 1 & 2 correctly, but did not follow the instructions on the actual scored task. The examinee kept repeating “circle to triangle,” but she drew the lines in a scattered fashion, not paying attention to connecting circles to triangles or connecting objects of increasing size. According to the scoring criteria, the examinee completed 7 lines correct. Is the score actually 7? Should she consider the subtest to be spoiled?

Answer:

If the examiner follows the guidelines for instructions to the examinee, credit should be given for the lines connected correctly. The score is indeed a 7 and scoring procedures should be followed and reported. At the same time, the clinician needs to make a judgment whether or not that score appears to be reflective of intentional performance or not and qualify those concerns in the report. Certainly, the verbal repetition “circle to triangle” could be an indicator of lack of attention and “random drawing” (which ended up being rather accurate in this case), or it could simply be verbal rehearsal and a perseverating self-monitoring strategy during the task. Only the clinician giving the test can make the best judgment about that. The scoring, however, is based on actual performance given correct administration procedures.

Which Items in CELF-4 are Appropriate to Target in Treatment


Question:

When administering all items in a CELF-4 subtest, how do we know which of those items are appropriate to target in treatment if all items are to be administered?

Answer:

Refer to the Item Analysis at the end of each subtest description in the Examiner’s Manual, Chapter 2 to examine the student’s patterns of correct responses and errors. Information from the CELF-4 Item Analysis (along with your other assessment results such as classroom observations, additional probes, dynamic assessment) can assist you in designing an individualized therapy plan for the student. CELF-4 , like all standardized assessment tools, is only one of the measures that should be used in a comprehensive diagnostic assessment process to determine if a child has a language disorder, to determine strengths and weaknesses, and to identify treatment targets if the child has a disorder.

Language, Literacy & Learning Behavior: A Design for Change


Lance M. Gentile, PhD

On October 20, 2011, Lance M. Gentile, PhD presented: Language, Literacy and Learning Behavior: A Design for Change

Dr. Lance M. Gentile, author of the newly-released OLAI-2, has taught for over 45 years. The numbers of children who have not acquired the foundations of language for learning in school have multiplied. The author will discuss the role of parents and professionals in teaching children the language, literacy, and learning behavior skills needed to be successful in school.

You may watch the recording here.

**please note that CEUs were only offered for attending the live webinar. We are unable to provide CEUs for watching the recording.**

The Challenges of Basic Concept Assessment/Intervention


On October 18, 2011, Ann E. Boehm, PhD presented: The Challenges of Basic Concept Assessment/Intervention. A multi-step model for assessing and planning treatment for basic concepts was explored. Dr. Boehm presented research-based intervention strategies and checklists to monitor progress. The session also addressed the complexity of direction-following and ways to improve children’s performance.

You may watch the recording here.

DELV: Who is the Test for and How is it Useful?


On October 12, 2011, Jill de Villers PhD, Peter de Villiers PhD, and Tom Roeper PhD presented: DELV: Who is the Test for and How is it Useful? While DELV addresses dialect issues in language testing, it is appropriate for mainstream English speakers as well. Subtests unique to DELV (e.g., wh-question asking, fast mapping, narrative, quantifiers) complement other assessments and are important indicators for SLPs designing interventions.

You may watch the recording here.

When to use CELF Preschool 2 or CELF-4


Question:

I am a speech pathologist currently working in a preschool/kindergarten building. I often use the CELF-Preschool 2 or the CELF-4 to evaluate their communication skills. I would like this question directed to the authors of these assessment tools. Since both of these tests cover the 5-6 year age range, which test would they recommend we use at the kindergarten level?

Elisabeth H. Wiig, PhDAnswer:

In general, the CELF Preschool-2 is your best option for children in Kindergarten–the formats in the test are more supportive and child-friendly for young children. This is especially the case if a child is a young five year old (e.g., 5:0 through 5:5) and has had little preschool experience, and limited verbal ability. There is more in-depth content coverage for younger children in CELF Preschool-2 than you will find on CELF-4, which covers content for mostly older children (ages 5-8).

Keep in mind that if the children you are testing in Kindergarten are five years old, have enough preschool experience that they are comfortable and familiar with school types of tasks, and express themselves well in social situations, you will be able to obtain accurate test results using the CELF-4. Your choice of assessment really depends on the maturity of the child, previous preschool experiences, social verbal ability, and his or her experiences with standardized assessment tools.

Score Discrepancies on CELF-4


Question:

I have an 8 year 3 month old 2nd grade boy whose overall profile falls between 5 and 6 standard scores with Formulated Sentences at 8 and Expressive Vocabulary at 7 [On the CELF-4]. Working Memory subtests standard scores as follows: Number Rep Fwd 6, Number Rep Backward 5, Familiar Sequences 10. This is huge discrepancy. No inattentive behaviors noted. Any help?

-Beth M.

Elisabeth H. Wiig, PhD

Dr. Elisabeth Wiig’s Answer:
To begin, take a look at page 121 of the Examiner’s Manual. As you will see, both the Number Repetition subtests and the Familiar Sequences subtests place a heavy demand on attention, concentration, and auditory or verbal working memory. If you examine the content in the test items on the Record Form , you will see that the first 7 items in the Familiar Sequences subtest are relatively easy in comparison to items 8-12—the context includes “familiar sequences” such as the letters of the alphabet and the days of the week, not the long random sequences of numbers in the Number Repetition task. There is a great deal of automaticity in producing those sequences (and they are a closed set!) compared to the Number Repetition subtest. The score discrepancy this student exhibited is a red flag that there may be some working memory issues operating with this child and that further assessment is warranted. Consult with your school psychologist who can conduct a more thorough assessment of the student’s skills memory and attention skills.

You might want to administer the CELF-4 Rapid Automatic Naming subtest. It probes attention, visual working memory and set shifting. If the boy uses significantly longer time to name the color-form combinations, this can serve as validation since color-form naming requires adequate bilateral temporal-parietal, subcortical and hippocampal functioning. In other words,significantly impaired performance on that subtest can point to an underlying neuropsychological/neurological deficit involving the attention-working memory and cognitive