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AJSLP-18-0202gillam_SuppS1.pdf (42.26 kB)

The use of dynamic assessment (Orellana et al., 2019)

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-06-13, 20:54 authored by Carla I. Orellana, Rebekah Wada, Ronald B. Gillam
Purpose: Dynamic assessment (DA) has generally been accepted and recommended for use with bilingual children; however, no meta-analysis or systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy for language impairment within this population exists. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the current use of DA and its diagnostic accuracy for language impairment in bilingual children.
Method: Through a key word search of PsycINFO, ERIC, Academic Search Premier, and MEDLINE via EBSCOhost, 7 studies were identified. Participants ranged from 3 to 8 years old. Areas of language addressed through DA included labeling single words, morpheme rule learning, ability to learn nonwords, and narratives. Study results were analyzed with respect to diagnostic accuracy, participant modifiability, and methodological quality.
Results: Overall, participants with typically developing language received higher scores on the language assessments used in DA studies compared to participants with a language impairment. Gain scores were generally not useful for differentiating between children who did or did not have language impairments. However, clinician judgments of modifiability during the teaching phase of DA consistently yielded significant group effects favoring the typically developing children. Across the 7 studies, sensitivity and specificity were reasonably high, with all studies meeting or close to meeting the set criteria (≥ 0.8).
Conclusion: Suggestive evidence supports the use of DA for diagnosing language disorders in bilingual children. However, limitations in the methodological quality of the studies that were reviewed could have resulted in inflated diagnostic accuracy and decreased validity.

Supplemental Material S1. Coding sheet table.

Orellana, C. I., Wada, R., & Gillam, R. B. (2019). The use of dynamic assessment for the diagnosis of language disorders in bilingual children: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 28, 1298–1317.


This study was supported by Raymond and Eloise Lillywhite Endowment to Utah State University.