Semester of Graduation

Fall 2017


Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences & Disorders

Document Type



There is limited research regarding the efficacy of the language screening process, especially for bilingual populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the pass rates of three language screeners when administered to Spanish-English bilingual and ELL children. A total of ten Spanish-English bilingual children enrolled in either Pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade completed each screener. The screeners were: the Preschool Language Scales Spanish Screening Test-Fifth Edition (PLSSST-5; Zimmerman et al., 2012a), the Bilingual English Spanish Oral Screener (BESOS; currently in development; Lugo-Neris et al., n.d.), and the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation-Screening Test (DELV-S; Seymour et al., 2003). Analyses included examining each tool’s pass rate, the consistency at which the tools identified the same participants as requiring further evaluation, and the accuracy at which the tools classified the children’s referral status (+referral vs. –referral) as determined by the Instrument to Assess Language Knowledge (ITALK; Peña, Gutiérrez-Clellen, Iglesias, Goldstein, & Bedore, 2014). Thirty percent of the participants passed the PLSSST-5 and the DELV-S-II, and 60% passed the BESOS. When compared to the ITALK, the PLSSST-5 yielded the highest classification accuracy (90%) for identifying the participants’ referral status. The results suggest caution when using these language screeners by themselves to determine if a child should be referred to a speech-language pathologist for evaluation.



Committee Chair

Oetting, Janna B.