Semin Speech Lang 2004; 25(1): 27-31
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-824823
Copyright © 2004 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Steps in Designing and Implementing an Innovative Assessment Instrument

Harry N. Seymour1 , 2 , Barbara Zurer Pearson2
  • 1Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
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15. April 2004 (online)

Preliminary research for innovative assessments valid for both African American English- and Mainstream American English-speaking children suggested a process consisting of two separate tests: (1) a screening test, and (2) a comprehensive test of Syntax, Pragmatics, Semantics, and Phonology. Language probes were designed to accomplish the functions of dialect identification, using highly contrastive features between the dialects, and diagnosis of disorder, which uses noncontrastive elements. The resulting assessment/proposal, which has undergone extensive experimental field testing, differs from existing tests at the level of its individual items and in the process of test construction as a whole.


Barbara Zurer PearsonPh.D. 

Department of Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA 01003