Screening Low-Income African American Children Using the BLT-2S and the SPELT-P Screening the language abilities of African American kindergarten children with low socioeconomic status (SES) poses a major challenge for many speech-language pathologists. This article provides data on the effectiveness of two commonly used standardized screening measures: the screening version of the Bankson Language Test-2 (BLT-2S; Bankson, 1990a) and the Structured ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1999
Screening Low-Income African American Children Using the BLT-2S and the SPELT-P
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula M. Rhyner
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Donna J. Kelly
    Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
  • Amy L. Brantley
    Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, WI
  • Dawn M. Krueger
    Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, WI
  • Contact author: Paula M. Rhyner, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201
    Contact author: Paula M. Rhyner, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1999
Screening Low-Income African American Children Using the BLT-2S and the SPELT-P
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 44-52. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.44
History: Received March 23, 1998 , Accepted August 14, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 1999, Vol. 8, 44-52. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0801.44
History: Received March 23, 1998; Accepted August 14, 1998

Screening the language abilities of African American kindergarten children with low socioeconomic status (SES) poses a major challenge for many speech-language pathologists. This article provides data on the effectiveness of two commonly used standardized screening measures: the screening version of the Bankson Language Test-2 (BLT-2S; Bankson, 1990a) and the Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test-Preschool (SPELT-P; Werner & Kresheck, 1983a). The results of the study provide information concerning the language screening failure rates for the two formal measures, the amount of correction achieved from using an alternative dialect-sensitive scoring method, and an item analysis of the children’s performance on these two measures. The findings presented here provide support for the need identified in the literature for alternatives to available formal language screening measures for use with low SES African American kindergarten children.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge the graduate students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) who assisted in data collection. We also would like to thank the administrators, teachers, and classroom staff at the school programs that participated in this study for their cooperation and assistance during the course of the study. Sincere gratitude is extended to Sarah Samuelson, a graduate student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UWM, for her assistance in the data analysis.
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