As part of the Touro practicum experience for Bilingual Pupil Personnel Services candidates research bilingual assessment, which is the evaluation of a bilingual individual, by a bilingual individual in a bilingual manner (Rhodes, Ochoa & Ortiz, 2005).
Noelia Feliz is a second-generation immigrant of Hispanic descent. As a school psychologist for Yonkers Public Schools, she proudly serves underprivileged communities and families by aiding them in receiving and obtaining the best service possible. Noelia is currently working towards her bilingual extension at Touro College because she wants to be able to work with a broader population and be a hand and voice for families who are often underserved.
WISC-IV Spanish – What Does It Measure?
The Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children has been broadly utilized in research and clinical applications to distinguish designs of cognitive performance such as neurodevelopmental disorders like attention-deficit disorders autism as well as to obtained conditions such as traumatic brain damage and helping identify learning disabilities. The WISC-V Spanish is a linguistically and culturally diverse test that is used to measure cognitive ability in Spanish for children ages 6:0 through 16:11. This test was adapted from the English WISC-V, however, test items have been validated to limit cultural bias amongst different origins and regions. Factors such as acculturation, socioeconomic status, educational disadvantage, and bilingualism may affect the child’s performance on cognitive tests (McGill & Canivez, 2017).
The Spanish WISC-V is composed of Four indexes that make up the Full-Scale Index Quotient (FSIQ). These four include Verbal Comprehension (similarities, Vocabulary, Comprehension, & Information), Perceptional Reasoning (Block Design, Picture concepts, Matrix reasoning Picture completion), Working Memory (Digit Span, Letter-Number Sequencing, & Arithmetic), and Processing Speed (Coding, Symbol, Search, and Cancellation). In supplement to cognitive abilities measured in these areas, the WISC-V Spanish offers language-environment amended scores for the verbal subtests and indexes. The FSIQ is derived from 7 subtests and is considered what is most typical of universal intellectual functioning (Maccow & Henke, 2016).
Subtest Item Content:
The quantity of adjustment necessary was different across subtests. For the Processing Speed and Visual-Spatial subtests, and all Fluid Reasoning subtests with the exception of Arithmetic, only instruction translation to the child was needed; and all items, stimuli, and art, stayed mirroring that of the English WISC–V. On the Arithmetic, Verbal Comprehension subtests and Letter–Number Sequencing, changes throughout languages needed some modification of item content (Maccow & Henke, 2016).
Subjectivity can be viewed in terms of the Verbal subtests in which the child wither gives you a definition of a word, or compare two things together. The subjectivity comes when depending on the cultural background (dialects) of administrator vs that of the child, the definition of words might vary, thus affecting scoring.
Who should be the users of the WISC-V- Spanish?
Someone who is able to comprehend and communicate in both English and Spanish. Also, someone who is experienced and trained in the assessment linguistically diverse children, in this case, Spanish, who are comparable in linguistic background, cultural, age, clinical, and educational history to the children examiners will be evaluating with the WISC-V Spanish (Maccow & Henke, 2016).
Restructured normative sample standardized on 2,200 children aged 6:0–16:1. The primary language of the children in the sample is Spanish and have gone to schools across the United States for as little as 5 consecutive years. It is compared to the English normative sample using Item Response Theory (IRT) approach (Maccow & Henke, 2016). Normative sample stratified to correlate with the recent US census data based on race/ethnicity, parent education level, sex, and geographic region for the groups. This entails the added validity evidence based on Spanish-speaking clinical and validity samples. The accumulative weight of reliability and validity evidence proposes that psychologists should focus their efforts interpretively at the general level and have a lot of caution when using group factor scores to make decisions (Maccow & Henke, 2016).
Optional Language-Environment Verbal Score Adjustments
Psychologists who assess children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have to face unique trials and complexities. Specifically, practical approaches are needed to weed out the impression of non-cognitive factors (socioeconomic status, educational disadvantage, acculturation, bilingualism) that may affect cognitive test performance (Maccow & Henke, 2016). The adjusted scores give us an approximation (not a precise) of the level to which personal (preferences and language use) and environmental (school, home, neighborhood) variables may have impacted the performance of the child. These adjusted scores have not been validated for determining eligibility for special education. This is why the standard age-adjusted norms are advocated to make such decisions about eligibility (Maccow & Henke, 2016).
Overall, The WISC-V Spanish is available, for online/manual administration. It is an easy tool to use both ways. The full kits run for $1,300. The kit includes the manual, the technical interpretive manual, record forms, three stimulus books, 25 response booklets, symbol search and coding scoring keys, and the block design block set (www.pearsonassessments.com). I really do enjoy the assessment, in terms of the time it takes to complete it beats it’s opposite, The Woodcock Munoz which is another cognitive measure and the Spanish version of the Woodcock Johnson. The WISC-V Spanish is typically between 45-65 minutes to complete. The updated norms have updated tremendously from the WISC-IV Spanish and it makes the test that much more reliable to use. They went from having a norm sample of sole Puerto Rican students for the WISC-IV, to expanding on that sample to ELL students across the US. This update makes the test more reliable. The English WISC-V is a personal favorite of mine, and I have seen collogues use the WISC-V Spanish and it looks like something I would enjoy just as much.
The Leiter-III (cognitive)
What does it measure?
The Leiter-III is an assessment tool that is used to evaluate neuropsychological, attentional, and nonverbal abilities in typical and atypical children, adolescents and adults. The test is administered completely in pantomime, and it is not verbally charged like a WISC-V or WJ would be. Administration age is 3–75+ years and takes about 20-25 minutes to administer. This non-verbal assessment is perfect for population of those with Speech/Language disorders, autism, and the English Language Learners (ELLs). With the Leiter-3 postulates an IQ score, and it also gives the percentile and age-equivalent scores for each subtest. The test kit runs for $1,185, and it is only administered manually. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).
Cognitive Scales (Fluid Intelligence)
Unlike other cognitive testing, the Leiter-3 highlights fluid intelligence, the firmest measure of an individual’s distinctive cognitive abilities.
· Sequential Order (SO)
· Form Completion (FC)
· Classification and Analogies (CA)
· Figure Ground (FG)
· Matching/Repeated Patterns (M/RP)- optional. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).
The Leiter-3 gives individual subtest, and various composite scores, that measure intelligence, and discrete abilities. These scores recognize the weaknesses and strengths of individual aptitudes, as well as skills. Percentile and age-equivalent scores are provided. Growth Scores are given for all domains, empowering experts to measure little, but imperative, cognitive shifts inside their skill set, especially vital for children with cognitive inabilities. Following these shifts permits experts, teachers and guardians to see the change (development) over time, independent of age-based standard scores. With the Leiter there is little room for subjectivity. Everything is done completely non-verbal. The pantomime signs are all standardized ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).
When a student is linguistically diverse, it is important to, along with a verbally charged cognitive test, to include a non-verbal to see the difference in the person’s IQ. See if there is a discrepancy in scores based on the child’s language or ability and use those scores and results appropriately. This is something we do in our district. However, the fact that we do not have a verbal aspect to this tests limits our overall picture of the diverse child, which is why it is essential, if the student is able to speak, to include another measure with the Leiter-III.
· Validity / Reliability
The norm of the Leiter-III is based on a sample of 1,600+ typical individuals reflecting the general population in terms of ethnicity/race, gender, and age, and cultural background. The technical appropriateness of the instrument, including standardization and reliability, is strong. However, the data for this measure suggests flexibility in performance over the course of time. validity was supported for both language groups. ((Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition).
Overall, I am not a fan of this assessment it is a personal choice. There is nothing wrong with this test, it is just out of my personal comfort zone. My times administering this test have not been the most fun. It was difficult for me initially to get a hang of it as it is different than anything I have ever done before. Sometimes I find students get easily distracted with all the manipulatives that this test does entail, and it is time-consuming. One limitation I find is that since one does not speak on this test, for bilinguals especially, the different pantomime signs might be confusing. Culturally non-verbal signs might vary from culture to culture and that could serve as a downfall if the student is pretty new to the American culture.
“(Leiter-3) Leiter International Performance Scale, Third Edition.” WPS, http://www.wpspublish.com/leiter-3-leiter-international-performance-scale-third-edition.
Maccow, Gloria, and James Henke. “Introducing WISC-V Spanish.” Pearson Clinical, 2017. pearsonclinical.com.