Document Type



Identifying valid and informative approaches for assessing young English learners (ELs) is essential for school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The present paper focuses on two distinct approaches for assessing English grammatical development, a key component and indicator of language development for ELs. The approaches addressed are standardized normreferenced assessment and grammatical feature coding from story retell narratives. The authors review the utility of these approaches for evaluating the English grammatical development of Spanish-speaking ELs. A research example is provided to illustrate how a small sample (n = 18) of ELs performed on each of these English-based tasks. Findings reveal that children tended to demonstrate higher percent accuracies on the grammatical forms targeted within the narrative context compared to the norm-referenced contexts. These results, coupled with the background literature, indicate that the two approaches yield different information for individual children. Norm-referenced assessment allows SLPs to target specific grammatical structures and to obtain measures of children’s mastery of those structures, whereas narrative-based assessment provides a naturalist measure of functional grammar use. Recommendations for practice are provided.

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APA Citation

Fitton, L., Wofford, M., Bustamante, K., De Novi, N., Nunez, B., & Wood, C. (2017). Comparing Methods for Assessing the English Grammatical Development of Spanish-Speaking English Learners. Perspectives Of The ASHA Special Interest Groups, 2(16), 45-60.