Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: A Practical Guide

Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: A Practical Guide

Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: A Practical Guide

Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: A Practical Guide

Synopsis

This is the first book to present a practical, problem-solving approach with hands-on tools and techniques for assessing English-language learners and culturally diverse students from kindergarten to Grade 6. Meeting the crucial needs among practitioners and special educators working in today's schools, this resource contains research-based, step-by-step procedures for conducting effective interviews with students, parents, and teachers. Topics covered include:

• making the best use of interpreters

• addressing special issues in the pre-referral process

• conducting accurate, unbiased assessments of academic achievement, intellectual functioning, language proficiency, and acculturation.

Among the book's special features are reproducible worksheets, questionnaires, and checklists - including several in both English and Spanish - in a ready-to-use, large-size format.

Excerpt

There has long been need for a book that focuses on the assessment of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Conducting assessments and interviews through the assistance of an interpreter, the selection of nondiscriminatory instruments and procedures, assessment of language proficiency, assessment of acculturation, and the examination of exclusionary factors are just some of the issues faced by school-based practitioners. The complex process of assessment is further complicated for many mental health and educational professionals because they have a limited knowledge of the students' culture and primary language. In the field of school psychology, for example, fewer than 6% of practitioners are members of a minority population. Similar disproportionate representation exists across all fields of psychology within the United States. As a result, many mental health and educational professionals involved in the assessment of schoolage children are unfamiliar with the unique cultural and linguistic characteristics of their clientele.

In order to address this pressing need, a significant amount of research and theory-based literature has been produced during the past several years. Unfortunately, to date, no hands-on guide to the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students has been available to practitioners. Interested mental health and educational professionals have instead been forced to wade through available research and theory in order to develop a working approach to assessment strategies and procedures. This book represents an attempt to provide a practical and informative guide to the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students for practitioners in the fields of school psychology, special education, educational diagnostics, and other related areas.

Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students is a nontechnical resource. Although the material in the book is based on established research and theory, it is generally free from technical jargon and language. The focus of the book is instead based on a practical, problem-solving approach to the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students. In order to accomplish this objective, a number of reproducible checklists and worksheets are included so that the reader has immediate hands-on application of the material discussed.

The topics covered were carefully chosen to address the activities and situations most commonly encountered by practitioners in the field. Step-by-step procedural guidelines are provided, for example, for the interview process, the use of interpreters, using informal and curriculum-

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