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Validation Of Assessment Indicators Of General Patterns Of Psycholinguistic And Cognitive Abilities Of Young Spanish-Speaking Children (Bilingual, Translation, Tests, Language Development)

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Problem. Most of the diagnostic tools available for the assessment of language and cognition in early childhood education have been designed for fluent English-speakers. Few instruments include items appropriate to the needs of Spanish-speaking children with limited English Proficiency (LEP). Available Spanish language test are translations of English tools and have not been standardized among the Hispanic population. Classroom teachers and education specialists need an appropriately validated Spanish test for educational planning and programing of LEP Spanish-speaking children. Purpose. The purpose of this study was three dimensional: (1) to develop a functional adaptation of a criterion-referenced diagnostic test for the assessment of language and cognitive skills of preschool LEP Spanish-speaking children for educational planning, (2) to establish validity and reliability of the adapted Spanish criterion-referenced test and two norm-referenced tests to be used by educational diagnosticians for the assessment of language and learning abilities of young LEP Spanish-speaking pupils. Procedures. The test Evaluacion de Languaje y Habilidades Cognoscitivas en Edad Pre-Escolar (ELCEP) was developed as the Spanish adaptation of the Preschool Language-Cognitive Skills Assessment for Curriculum Entry (PLACE), by John Logfren (1978). The first draft of ELCEP was field tested and revised in preparation for validation of six Spanish-English bilingual professionals from different fields of education. A sample of 35 LEP Spanish-speaking children was used to establish the reliability of the ELCEP. A sample of 100 LEP Spanish-speaking children was used to establish concurrent validity of the ELCEP, and the two norm-referenced test, Prueba Illinois de Habilidades Psicolinguisticas (PIHP) and Bateria Woodcock de Proficiencia del Idioma or Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery Spanish (WLPB-Span.) Findings. The level of significance for rejecting the null hypotheses was set at .05. No significant differences were found between male and female scores, or between age group scores from the reliability sample of the ELCEP. Significant correlations and traits of communality were found from comparison of 15 variables from the ELCEP, PHIP, and WLPB-Span, through factor analysis. Recommendation. Additional extension of the ELCEP for ensuring quality of test constructs to permit criterion-referenced and norm-referenced application of the test. Further studies to ensure appropriate development of equivalent English and Spanish forms of the ELCEP, and local norms for the PHIP AND WLPB-Span.

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