American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Dynamic Assessment

Assessing children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can be a complex task. One alternative to standardized testing methods is dynamic assessment. Dr. Elizabeth Peña, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has conducted extensive research in the area of dynamic assessment with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. This multimedia guide on the dynamic assessment procedure will focus on the test-teach-retest method.

Dynamic assessment (DA) is a method of conducting a language assessment which seeks to identify the skills that an individual child possesses as well as their learning potential. The dynamic assessment procedure emphasizes the learning process and accounts for the amount and nature of examiner investment. It is highly interactive and process-oriented. The following chart compares features of a traditional (or static) assessment procedure to the dynamic assessment procedure.

Static Dynamic
  • Passive participants
  • Examiner observes
  • Identify deficits
  • Standardized
  • Active participants
  • Examiner participates
  • Describe modifiability
  • Fluid, responsive

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