Mothers' Judgement Of The Representativeness Of Their Sons' Language Samples In Relation To Volume Of Language Produced

Southwood, Frenette ; Russell, Ann F. (2005)

29 A4 pages in PDF format

Departments of General Linguistics and Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy

Journal Article

The analysis of language elicited during naturally occurring situations forms the cornerstone of a child language assessment protocol and is used for the planning and monitoring of intervention (Dunn, Flax, Sliwinski, and Aram 1996; Evans and Miller 1999). A 1997 survey revealed that 85% of speech-language therapists in the United States of America use language samples during language assessment with children (Kemp and Klee 1997). One reason for the frequent use of language samples is the limitations of standardised language tests (cf., amongst others, Hawkins and Spencer 1985). Another reason is the lack of assessment tools, especially culturally fair ones, for clients from nonmainstream groups (Peña, Quinn, and Iglesias 1992; Toronto and Merrill 1983). Consider the situation of Afrikaans, for example: According to the 2001 census results (Statistics South Africa 2003), this language is spoken as mother-tongue by 13% of the South African population (i.e., by 6 million people). Considering that Afrikaans is not widely spoken outside of the country, it could thus be viewed as a nonmainstream language compared to, for instance, English, the language which has the world's third largest number of mother-tongue speakers, viz. 322 million (Grimes 1996).

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