Assessment with English Language Learners

This project will explore current practices and also training needs of school psychologists in the area of assessment of English Language Learners. One the most challenging assessment situations for school psychologists is dealing with a referral for academic concerns for English Language Learners. School psychologists need to rule out the possible influence of various other factors when determining whether a learning disability might be the primary contributor to academic difficulties. Many of the assessment tools (academic and cognitive tests) that school psychologists use may not be appropriate for use with students who are English Language Learners, and when they are used extreme care is needed when interpreting results. This project will explore a number of issues related to this assessment situation by surveying current school psychologists.

The first phase of the project is a survey of school psychologists in WA state. The survey was be adapted from the survey used in a previously published study conducted in the Midwestern US (Marrs & Eccles, 2009 LINK). During the Fall 2017 quarter, the research team survey school psychologists across the state and some initial data analysis was completed. During the 2018-2019 academic year the research team with do further data analysis and prepare results for presentation at conferences.