Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Keywords

Culturally and linguistically diverse, Cultural competence, Assessment, English language learners, Diversity, Interpreters, Asha focused initiative

Abstract

Like educators, speech-language pathologists can anticipate working with culturally and linguistically diverse students and their families. Data reported from the Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education (SPeNSE), 1999-2000, revealed that during the years 1999-2000 speech-language pathologists caseloads included students from various culturally and linguistically diverse groups (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, 2001). Furthermore, on average, more than one-fourth of students seen by speech-language pathologists were from a culturally and/or linguistically diverse group than their own and 8.8% were English language learners (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Thus, guaranteeing a highly qualified pool of speech-language pathologists to meet these students needs is essential.

This study examined speech-language pathologists (a) beliefs about the language assessment of bilingual/bicultural/bidialectal students, (b) professional efficacy beliefs (both personal and general) as they relate to assessing the language skills of bilingual/bicultural/bidialectal students, and (c) reported supports and barriers to assessing the language skills of bilingual/bicultural/bidialectal students.

It involved a mixed method research design (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998, 2002) and was organized into three central components that included a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase: (a) survey administration, (b) reflective analysis of the researchers experience as a speech-language pathologist, and (c) follow-up semi-structured interviews.Quantitative analyses of speech-language pathologists professional efficacy beliefs revealed that most speech-language pathologists believed they personally, and the field in general, were somewhat competent in assessing the language skills of bilingual/bicultural/bidialectal students. While none of the predictor variables were significantly related to personal efficacy, one of the predictor variables (Hispanic/Latino) was significantly related to general efficacy. Qualitative analysis of speech-language pathologists professional efficacy beliefs varied as a function of race/ethnicity.

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