Language in Special Populations


Carter, J. A., Lees, J. A., Murira, G. M., Gona, J., Neville, B. G. R., & Newton, C. R. J. C. (2005). Issues in the development of cross-cultural assessments of speech and language for children. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 40, 385-401.

Usefulness to Clinical Practice

  • Reviews factors that may influence
       assessment results of children
       from differing cultures
  • Development of tools for cross-
       cultural assessments
  • Characteristics of Review

    Population Cross-cultural
    Review Type Narrative
    Country United Kingdom
    Number of studies 82 referenced




    Background: There is an increasing demand for the assessment of speech and language in clinical and research situations in countries where there are few assessment resources. Due to the nature of cultural variation and the potential for cultural bias, new assessment tools need to be developed or existing tools require adaptation. However, there are few guidelines on how to develop ‘culturally appropriate’ assessment tools.
    Aims: To review the literature on cross-cultural assessment in order to identify the major issues in the development and adaptation of speech and language assessments for children and to illustrate these issues with practical examples from our own research programme in Kenya.
    Methods and Procedures: Five broad categories pertaining to cross-cultural assessment development were identified: the influence of culture on performance, familiarity with the testing situation, the effect of formal education, language issues and picture recognition. It was outlined how some of these issues were addressed in our research. The results of the review were integrated to produce a list of ten guidelines highlighting the importance of collaboration with mother tongue speakers; piloting; familiar assessment materials; assessment location; and practice items and prompts.
    Conclusions: There are few clinicians
    and assessors, whether in the UK or abroad, who do no assess or treat children from a culture different to their own. Awareness of cultural variation and bias and cooperative efforts to develop and administer culturally appropriate assessment tools are the foundation of effective, valid treatment programmes.  (Journal Abstract).


    Justice, L. M., Invernizzi, M. A., & Meier, J. D. (2002). Designing and implementing an early literacy screening protocol: Suggestions for the speech-language pathologist. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 33, 84-101.

    Usefulness to Clinical Practice

  • Decision-making tree for screening
       literacy skills
  • Table of early literacy screening
       targets & tasks
  • Sample preschool early literacy
       screening protocol
  • Critical features of screening
       protocol designs
  • Characteristics of Review

    Population Young children
    Review Type Narrative
    Country USA
    Number of studies 99 referenced





    The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2001) recently asserted that speech-language pathologists can and should play an important role in promoting literacy for young children with communicative impairments. Early literacy screening provides a valuable tool for speech-language pathologists to use for the timely detection of difficulties in literacy achievement. In addition, results of early literacy screening can be used to guide intervention and instruction. This article provides a rationale for incorporating early literacy screening into service delivery. It also makes recommendations for determining which children and what areas of literacy should be targeted in screening activities. Suggestions for interpreting findings are also provided, as are strategies for using screening to guide early literacy intervention.
      (Journal Abstract).


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