MMI Foundational Courses: Sample Syllabi
Bilingual and Cross-Cultural Assessment
This course is designed to learn and to practice best known
strategies in conducting fair speech and language assessments of
individuals from diverse linguistic and cultural
backgrounds. The results of this process will enable
clinicians to plan appropriate intervention strategies to enhance
those individuals' communication skills and success in the
mainstream educational and work settings.
This course develops competencies in assessment of
bilingual/bicultural children and offers a more general overview
on adults. It includes information on understanding the
historical perspectives/philosophies and underlying assumptions
of standardized tests, test construction (psychometrics), and
legal issues involved in the assessment process. The use of
alternative practices (including curriculum and criterion-based
assessment), interviews, dynamic assessment, descriptive
analysis, classroom observations, other professionals and
families, as well as collaboration with interpreters/translators
will be discussed to provide a more holistic and fair assessment
about these individuals' linguistic, learning, and
communicative abilities. Intervention issues and strategies
that work and assess the individual's progress will be
reviewed as well.
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Upon completion of this course, the student will demonstrate
- Understanding of the historical perspectives and
assumptions underlying standardized testing.
- Knowledge of legal and pedagogical issues in the
identification, referral, and assessment of
- The ability to evaluate the advantages and limitations of
standardized tests and identify implications for
bilingual/bicultural children and individuals.
- Skills in selecting, using, and interpreting alternative
assessment procedures including working collaboratively with an
- The ability to write and implement appropriate intervention
procedures for bilingual/bicultural individuals.
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Farr, B.P., & Trumbull, E. (1997).
Assessment alternatives for diverse classrooms. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Langdon, H.W., & Cheng, L.L. (2002).
Collaborating with interpreters and translators. A guide
for communication disorders professionals. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications.
Wallace, G.L. (1997).
Multicultural neurogenics: A resource for speech-language
pathologists. San Antonio, TX: Communication Skill Builders.
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Langdon, W., & Cheng, L.L. (1992). Hispanic children
and adults with communication disorders: Assessment and
intervention. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.
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Class 1: Course Overview
- Chapter 1 (Farr & Trumbull)
- Chapter 2 (Wallace)
- The challenge of assessment: School-age students
- Preparing for patient contact: Adults
Class 2: Historical Perspectives on Testing
- Chapter 2 (Farr & Trumbull)
- Proposition 227 in California
Class 3: Optimal Curriculum and Learning Environments
- Chapter 3 (Farr & Trumbull)
- Chapter 5 (Wallace)
Class 4: Language Use in Instruction and Assessment
- Chapter 4 (Farr & Trumbull)
- Chapter 4 (Wallace)
Class 5: Presentations on ELL Students in Various
Districts throughout the County
Class 6: Speech and Language Assessments
- Tests available in the target language
- General procedures
- Chapter 7 (Langdon & Cheng, 1992)
Class 7: Working with Interpreters and Translators
- Balancing linguistic and cultural variables
- Assessment issues
- Chapters 4 & 5 (Langdon & Cheng, 2002)
Class 8: Focus on Speech-Language Pathology and
- Chapter 6 (Langdon & Cheng, 2002)
Class 9: Collecting Information from Interpreters
- Observation and recording-assessment
Class 10: Language Sampling
- Dynamic assessment
- Curriculum based assessment-criterion assessments
- Chapter 5 (Farr & Trumbull)
Class 11: Alternative Modes of Assessment (Continued)
- Chapter 6 (Farr & Trumbull)
Class 12: Management of Bilingual Neurologically Impaired
Class 13: Intervention and Issues
- Chapter 8 (Langdon & Chen, 1992)
Class 14: Service Delivery Models
- Chapter 9 (Langdon & Chen, 1992)
Class 15: Summary of Class-Reports
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Search the site for the districts that were assigned to you on
Record the number of schools (elementary, secondary, and high
school where appropriate).
Record the number of students and the number of ELL students
including the languages and percentages of students speaking
Record main information as reported by Human Resources or
Assessment and Evaluation Office in the districts.
Write one page reflection on what you learned from working on
Interviewing an Interpreter/Translator
- Each student will be requested to contact two interpreters
and report the interview in a three-page, double-spaced
paper. Please include the answers to your interview
questions as an attachment to the paper. Send the
questionnaire filled out.
- Interview an interpreter/translator who has preferably
worked with a speech-language pathologist, psychologist, and/or
educator. Use the questionnaire below to collect your
- Summarize what you learned from this experience in
paragraphs. Compare and contrast results of the two
Questionnaire for Officer in District Human Resources or
Student says: 'Thank you for giving me your
time. This interview should not last more than 10
minutes. I am participating in a class project for my
Bilingual Assessment Class. We are interested in learning
more about how services are rendered by interpreters and
translators in your district."
Definitions: Interpreters are those individuals who translate
information conveyed orally from one language to the
other. Translators are those individuals who translate the
information in writing.
Do you hire interpreters and translators (I/Ts) in your
If no, please explain how I/Ts are hired for the various jobs
in your district.
What are the languages for which you hire I/Ts?
How many times have you had to hire an I/T last year?
How many I/Ts work in your district?
What criteria do you follow in hiring your I/Ts? (e.g., How do
you know they are competent to do the job?)
Services provided by I/Ts (Please mark all that apply):
Special education assessments (such as SLP, Resource, APE,
IEP translations and other written documents
Other (please state)
Please indicate which is/are the most frequent service(s).
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the I/T?
What are your needs in this area for your
Questionnaire for the Interpreter/Translator (I/T)
Setting (school, hospital, clinic, other)
How many years of experience?___________________
Has I/T received any training?_____ If so, where, when, how
long was the training?____
Does the I/T have opportunities for continued training?
When does the I/T work with a SLP, psychologist, special
and/or regular educator? Circle all that apply:
- conferences to report results and/or progress
Which one(s) is/are the most frequent?
How many hours does the I/T work in the setting per week?
What type of interpreting does the I/T use? (Consecutive,
Does the I/T do any translations? If so, what
type? (Sight or Prepared?) What type of documents?
Does the I/T have time to brief and debrief with the educator
prior to and/or after a meeting, an interview, a conference, or
How does the I/T know that what is being interpreted is clear
to the client or family member?
What does the I/T do if the client or family member seeks
advice during the encounter or prior to/after the encounter?
How does the I/T know that the client or family member
understands his/her rights regarding assessment, receiving a
given procedure, or understanding the therapy or intervention
How does the I/T know that the client or family member is
satisfied with his/her services? If the I/T does not know,
what suggestions does the I/T have to ensure that services are
What does the I/T do if he/she disagrees with what the SLP or
another professional says regarding ways of asking a question,
requesting information, or transmitting information to the
What does the I/T do if the parent, relative, or patient
brings in a bilingual advocate to the meeting and the two of them
do not agree on the meaning of a given word or a statement?
What would the I/T suggest to improve services to ELL
Is there a difference in interpreting for persons from
different specialties such as psychologists, physicians, or
educators? What is the same or different?
What makes the job of an I/T easier?
Are there any professionals with whom the I/T prefers to work
with and why?
Are there any professionals with whom the I/T prefers not to
work with and why?
What would make the I/T profession in the educational or
allied health profession attractive to more people?
Assessment of a bilingual/bicultural individual (Two
Assess a bilingual individual, age 3 years to adult, in both
his and her dominant language and in English. Secure
permission in writing from the individual and or the
individual's parents/family. Conduct the assessment
using the services of an interpreter if necessary. Write a report
that includes the following headings:
- reason for referral
- background information
- assessment procedure
- discussion (observations of comprehension/processing, oral
- summary and recommendations for intervention
Please answer the following questions:
- What was the most challenging about this project?
- What did you learn from this project?
- How will you use the knowledge you acquired in assessing
future bilingual/bicultural clients?
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