Using Dynamic Assessment in Differential Diagnoses of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse StudentsPresentation Transcript
TSHA 2013 Annual Convention
Friday, March 8, 2013
By Marie Wirka, M.S., CCC-SLP
and Lindsey Williams, M.S., CCC-SLP
No relevant financial relationship(s) or
• We have no relevant financial or nonfinancial
relationships in the products or services
described, reviewed, evaluated or compared in
Dynamic assessment has been shown to
be “one of the few strategies available
for differentiating those students who do
not perform well because of unfamiliarity
with the tasks from those who do not
perform well because they have intrinsic
cognitive or language learning disorders”
• Define dynamic assessment
• Select teaching targets to perform appropriate
assessments of CLD students
• Develop practical teaching tasks
• Use the results to make differential diagnoses
of diverse learners
Framework for Assessment
▫ In-depth case history from multiple sources
▫ Assess both languages
▫ Observations in variety of contexts
▫ Dynamic Assessment
▫ Analyze and interpret results using difference vs.
• Language Samples:
▫ Conversation in both languages
▫ Narratives in both languages
• Answering WH-questions
• Following directions
Making a Diagnosis
• Looking at scores
• Looking at functionality
▫ school reports, teacher observations
▫ parent reports
▫ clinical judgment/observations
• Doing dynamic assessment
• Less-biased approach for determining
difference vs. disorder
• Interactive and process-oriented procedure to
measure language learning potential
• Test-teach-retest model based on Vygotsky’s
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
• Provides some form of intervention or
“mediated learning” (Feuerstein)
• Mediated Learning Experiences (MLEs) often
include components of:
• Observe child’s responsiveness, amount of
examiner effort, and ability to transfer what is
Why do Dynamic Assessment?
• Aids in determining difference vs. disorder
• Gives opportunity for children not from
mainstream culture to understand demands of
task; reduces situational bias
• Dynamic assessment provides an alternative
approach to traditional procedures by focusing
on learning potential, rather than acquired
skills, possibly reducing test bias
Who gets Dynamic Assessment?
• Are some children obviously impaired?
• Do all children get it?
• Only ELL students?
• Low SES?
• Feasibility of multiple testing sessions
How do we do Dynamic Assessment?
• How do we use the results of our
formal/informal assessments to select teaching
▫ What does it take for a child to be able to
perform a skill?
• Age: 4;10
• Language Background:
▫ Bilingual, English and Spanish
• Teacher’s Concerns:
▫ Grammar, Sentence formulation, Following
• Parent’s Concerns:
▫ Language, delayed, different from siblings
Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Preschool 2 (CELF-PK2) – English:
Standard Score Percentile Rank
Core Language Score 69 2
Receptive Language Index 85 16
Expressive Language Index 63 1
Concepts and Following Directions 6 9
Word Structure 4 2
Recalling Sentences 4 2
Basic Concepts 9 37
Sentence Structure 7 16
Expressive Vocabulary 3 1
Mediated Learning Experience (MLE)
What are mediation strategies?
• What’s the goal?
▫ State the purpose of the teaching.
• Example: We’re going to work on following
directions that have 3 steps.
• Why are we working on this?
▫ Tell why it’s important and relevant.
• Example: When someone gives you directions,
it’s important to do each step so that you finish
• What happens if we don’t have this skill?
▫ Develop awareness of the relevance of the skill
to real life through critical thinking.
• Example: What if your teacher tells you to
color, cut, and glue, but you only follow two of
the directions? Then your project wouldn’t be
• Here’s what I expect you to do. Let’s try it
▫ Clarify expectations and give explicit
instructions. Provide a model and allow
opportunities for practice.
• Example: This time when I give you a direction
that has 3 steps, I want you to do all 3 steps in
the order that I say them. I’ll do it first and
then it will be your turn.
• What did you learn? Why is it important? When
will you use this skill?
▫ Check for understanding of the skill and its
importance for the current context and future
• Example: Remember, it’s important to listen to
all the steps in a direction and follow each one.
Now you tell me what we practiced and why
it’s important. Think about when you might
need to follow directions correctly in the
classroom. Then we’ll try it five more times.
• Support strategies
• Teacher effort
▫ Number of cues
▫ Types of cues (visual, auditory)
▫ Number of presentations
• Direct imitation (verbal)
• Physically prompted (non-verbal)
• Reduced Content
• Performs task for child
• Development of Protocol:
▫ Pull out the areas that we assess formally from
our report template and informally from our
baseline data probes
• Narrow down the areas of language to 5 basic
▫ Understanding concepts
▫ Following directions
▫ Answering questions
▫ Creating utterances
▫ Repeating words
• Why choose these targets?
▫ Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
▫ Look for universal features of language
• 5-point scale:
▫ Teaching Tasks: Mediation Strategies
▫ Support Strategies/Teaching Effort
• Child’s Responsiveness to Strategies
• Results: how do we measure improvement?
• Re-test same formal items?
• Get a score?
Assessment of Fictional Narratives
• Arranged by age expectations of
macrostructure of fictional narratives.
▫ Consider microstructure as well.
• Separated by universal expectations and
expectancies that may vary by culture.
▫ Selecting targets for Dynamic Assessment
Dynamic Assessment Procedures for
• Child listens to recording of frog story
• Clinician determines targets for dynamic assessment
• Clinician uses Assessment of Fictional Narratives
during child’s retell
• If macrostructure is weak, teach to this target and
retest narrative retell for macrostructure
• If microstructure features are distracting, switch to
this type of analysis
• If microstructure skills are consistently weak in both
contexts (i.e., formal and informal), then select the
corresponding language target for dynamic assessment
Dynamic Assessment Procedures for
• Use mediation strategies
• Determine support strategy level during MLE
• If child reaches 80% level, return to narrative to
look for carryover to functional context
• If skills are present, NO Support for disability
• If skills are not present, look at support strategy
level to help determine if intervention is indicated
• If child is at 60% level or below, further
intervention may be indicated.
Frog Story Transcript- Pretest
• He putted a boot at his at his face.
• Now he’s he’s doing
• He’s he’s getting sad.
• He’s shookes his head.
• He see his dog.
• He stick a tongue at him.
• X X.
• Oh, Oh Look He scream.
• Bees! look a bees!
• Uh Oh, oh sorry.
Frog Story Transcript- Post-test
• The story it is the dog and the and the boy.
• The the the he Dad is lock in the in the can.
• Is sleeping in the dog
• the dog and the boy is sleeping
• the frog sneak and get out and XX and the uh can.
• And the and the dog getting in that can, he stuck his
• And the dog fell
• he jump in the window and the and the boy shook his
tongue because he’s mad.
How do we use results?
• Qualifying for services
• Classroom accommodations
• Writing goals
• Determining level of support needed
• If a student is a fast learner, does that mean
he/she does not need therapy?
• Do some fast learners need therapy to learn the
• Why haven’t they gotten it on their own
• Can we feel confident saying a child is a typical
language learner when we only assess
dynamically in one language area?
• If the child performs well with minimal support
and low teacher effort in one area, should you
look at other language targets?
SLPs “will have to argue for the need for
dynamic assessment approaches, and they
will have to develop these approaches”
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