Identification of Specific Language Impairment in Bilingual Children: I. Assessment in English PurposeThis study was designed to derive cut scores for English testing for use in identifying specific language impairment (SLI) in bilingual children who were learning English as a second language.MethodIn a 1-gate design, 167 children received comprehensive language assessments in English and Spanish during their first-grade year. The reference standard ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2013
Identification of Specific Language Impairment in Bilingual Children: I. Assessment in English
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Elizabeth D. Peña
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Lisa M. Bedore
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Thomas M. Bohman
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Anita Mendez-Perez
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Disclosure:Ronald B. Gillam has a financial interest in the Test of Narrative Language (Gillam & Pearson, 2004).
    Disclosure:Ronald B. Gillam has a financial interest in the Test of Narrative Language (Gillam & Pearson, 2004).×
  • Correspondence to Ron Gillam: ron.gillam@usu.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Jessica Barlow
    Associate Editor: Jessica Barlow×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 01, 2013
Identification of Specific Language Impairment in Bilingual Children: I. Assessment in English
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1813-1823. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0056)
History: Received February 11, 2012 , Revised October 16, 2012 , Accepted March 13, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1813-1823. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0056)
History: Received February 11, 2012; Revised October 16, 2012; Accepted March 13, 2013

PurposeThis study was designed to derive cut scores for English testing for use in identifying specific language impairment (SLI) in bilingual children who were learning English as a second language.

MethodIn a 1-gate design, 167 children received comprehensive language assessments in English and Spanish during their first-grade year. The reference standard was identification by a team of expert bilingual speech-language pathologists. Receiver operating curve (ROC) analyses were used to identify the optimal prediction model for SLI.

ResultsThe original, English EpiSLI criteria (Tomblin, Records, & Zhang, 1996) yielded a sensitivity of .95 and a specificity of .45 (LR+ = 1.73, LR− = 0.11, and AUC = .79) for our bilinguals. Revised cutoff scores yielded a sensitivity of .86 and a specificity of .68 (LR+ = 2.67, LR− = 0.21, and AUC = .77). An optimal prediction model yielded a sensitivity of .81 and a specificity of .81 (LR+ = 4.37, LR− = 0.23 and AUC = .85).

ConclusionThe results of English testing could be used to make a reasonably accurate diagnostic decision for bilingual children who had attended public school for at least 1 year and were using English at least 30% of the time.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC007439. We thank all of the interviewers and testers for their assistance with collecting the data and the school districts for allowing us access to the participants.
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