Teacher ratings (Gregory & Oetting, 2018)

2018-04-05T23:54:58Z (GMT) by Kyomi D. Gregory Janna B. Oetting
Purpose: We compared teacher ratings as measured by the Teacher Rating of Oral Language and Literacy (TROLL; Dickinson, McCabe, & Sprague, 2001, 2003) and Children’s Communication Checklist–Second Edition (CCC-2; Bishop, 2006) to 2 established screeners, the Part II of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation–Screening Test (DELV-ST-II; Seymour, Roeper, & de Villiers, 2003) and Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills–Next (DIBELS; Good, Gruba, & Kaminski, 2009), and then examined whether teacher ratings alone or when combined with the DELV-ST-II or DIBELS accurately classify nonmainstream English-speaking kindergartners by their clinical status.
Method: Data came from 98 children who lived in the rural South; 47 spoke African American English, and 51 spoke Southern White English. Using the syntax subtest of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation–Norm Referenced (Seymour, Roeper, & de Villiers, 2005) as the reference standard, 43 were language impaired and 55 were typically developing. Analyses included analysis of variance, correlations, and discriminant function with sensitivity and specificity indices.
Results: The TROLL, CCC-2, DELV-ST-II, and DIBELS showed clinical status but not dialect effects, and they correlated with each other, the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation–Norm Referenced, and other language measures. Classification accuracies of all 4 tools were too low for screening purposes; however, empirically derived cut scores improved the results, and a discriminant function selected the TROLL and DELV-ST-II as optimal for determining who should be referred for an evaluation, with the TROLL yielding the highest level of sensitivity (77%).
Conclusion: Findings support teacher ratings as measured by the TROLL when screening nonmainstream English-speaking kindergartners for language impairment in the rural South, while also calling for additional development and study of teacher rating tools and other screening instruments.

Supplemental Material S1. Raw data and various accuracy indices for tools using empirically derived cut scores: dialects combined.

Gregory, K. D., & Oetting, J. B. (2018). Classification accuracy of teacher ratings when screening nonmainstream English-speaking kindergartners for language impairment in the rural South. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 218–231. https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_LSHSS-17-0045