Original Research

Are South African Speech-Language Therapists adequately equipped to assess English Additional Language (EAL) speakers who are from an indigenous linguistic and cultural background? A profile and exploration of the current situation

Thandeka Mdladlo, Penelope Flack, Robin Joubert
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 63, No 1 | a130 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i1.130 | © 2016 Thandeka Mdladlo, Penelope Flack, Robin Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 May 2015 | Published: 18 March 2016

About the author(s)

Thandeka Mdladlo, Speech Therapist, Livingstone School, Durban, South Africa
Penelope Flack, Discipline of Speech Language Pathology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Robin Joubert, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract

This article presents the results of a survey conducted on Speech-Language Therapists (SLTs) regarding current practices in the assessment of English Additional Language (EAL) speakers in South Africa. It forms part of the rationale for a broader (PhD) study that critiques the use of assessment instruments on EAL speakers from an indigenous linguistic and cultural background. This article discusses an aspect of the broader research and presents the background, method, findings, discussion and implications of the survey. The results of this survey highlight the challenges of human and material resources to, and the dominance of English in, the profession in South Africa. The findings contribute to understanding critical factors for acquiring reliable and valid assessment results with diverse populations, particularly the implications from a cultural and linguistic perspective.

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Keywords

assessment, cultural and linguistic diversity, English Additional Language speaker, language dominance, language competence, speech-language pathology.

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