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Screening and Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children

“Identifying bilingual children who might need language remediation before formal school entry may make it possible to offer appropriate intervention earlier, when children can profit most.”

—From the QUILS:ES User’s Manual

As the number of young dual language learners continues to rise in programs and classrooms across the country, it’s vital that early childhood professionals choose culturally and linguistically appropriate screening and assessment tools—and administer them skillfully and sensitively. Use these recommended resources and tools to start your program on the right track.

Articles and other online resources:

Successfully screening children who don’t come from English-speaking families (Part I and Part II) (ASQ)
Kimberly Murphy, co-developer of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®), offers practical guidance on working with interpreters, translating and adapting ASQ, and more.

9 Best Practices for Using an Interpreter for ASQ Completion (ASQ)
Learn how to bridge language and cultural differences between parents and educators using an interpreter.

Bilingual Assessment webinar (Brookes)
See how to make good diagnostic decisions when testing in English and how the home language can be considered in making a diagnosis.

Tips for Screening Children from Diverse Cultures (ASQ)
Helpful tips on using the trusted ASQ screener with children and families of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Bilingual Service Delivery (ASHA)
A comprehensive guide for delivery of audiology and/or SLP services for young bilingual children.

A Resource and Informational Toolkit for Speech-Language Pathologists Working with Bilingual Children (Western University)
This 30-page toolkit is filled with information, resources, video links, and strategies for SLPs who work with bilingual children.

Tips for Assessing Bilingual Children (ASHA)
These key practices can help monolingual SLPs provide quality assessment to children who are bilingual.

Dual Language Learners Program Assessment (DLLPA) (Head Start ECLKC)
The DLLPA enables programs to 1) assess systems and services for children who are DLLs and their families and 2) integrate culture and language for all children and families.

Development of Infants and Toddlers Who Are Dual Language Learners (Center for Early Care and Education Research – Dual Language Learners, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC)
This in-depth article explores the research and gaps in knowledge about the development of infants and toddlers who are dual language learners.

Developmental Assessment of Young Dual Language Learners with a Focus on Kindergarten Entry Assessment: Implications for State Policies (Center for Early Care and Education Research – Dual Language Learners, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC)
This article discusses the importance of culturally responsive developmental assessments for young dual language learners.

Language Assessment Principles for Working with Bilingual Children (Advanced Healthcare Education)
Presented by Dr. M. Adalaida Restrepo, SLP, this video provides some key principles for language assessment with bilingual children.

Recommended for you:


When a young bilingual child experiences language difficulties, it can be hard to tell if those challenges are due to a disorder or just limited exposure to the English language. Find out with the Bilingual English-Spanish Assessment™ (BESA™), a valid, reliable assessment for use with children ages 4 through 6 years who have varying degrees of bilingualism.


How can you tell if young bilingual children are making age-appropriate language progress? Use the Quick Interactive Language Screener™: English–Spanish (QUILS™: ES), a web-based, game-like screener for probing the language skills of English–Spanish bilingual children from ages 3 through 5.

ASQ Translations collage

ASQ® is the world’s most trusted screener, used in all fifty states and across the globe to help get children off to the best start in life. ASQ questionnaires have been translated into many languages to meet the growing needs of programs working with diverse families.

Assessing Spanish-English Bilingual Preschoolers

Get detailed reviews and analyses of 37 developmental assessments for Spanish–English bilingual preschoolers. You’ll compare English and Spanish versions of each tool, evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and get snapshots of key characteristics and technical data.


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