As of 2018, there were nearly 60 million Hispanic people living in the U.S., and about 41 million of those people speak Spanish in the home. Students who take part in language assistance programs are often referred to as English language learners (ELL).
Language acculturation is a process that occurs over a period of time, and it will be different for everyone due to age, education, length of time in the U.S., and adaptation to prevailing social, linguistic, psychological, and cultural norms. In U.S. schools, more than 77% of ELL students speak Spanish, and these students will exhibit different degrees of acculturation.
When these students need psychological assessment to address academic concerns, to determine appropriate classroom placement, or for any other reason, their level of language acculturation could have an effect on test results—and decisions based on those results could have lasting consequences.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) position notes “inadequate or inappropriate psychoeducational assessment practices, restricted access to effective instruction, [and] lack of understanding about language acquisition” as reasons for overrepresentation of ELL students in special education and underrepresentation in gifted programs.
The Language Acculturation Meter is a new tool that will ensure you are assessing bilingual and ELL individuals appropriately. It provides information about the examinee’s educational history, including where he or she attended school, in what language, and for how long; his or her level of everyday English-language use; and self-identified English comprehension in everyday scenarios.
This knowledge sets the stage for an ecologically valid assessment by providing a framework that helps you determine the most appropriate assessment—and get the most accurate results.
The Language Acculturation Meter and accompanying White Paper are available to download at no charge. Learn more or download.