Original Research

Culturally valid assessment tools: Northern Sotho translation of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised

Corrieta Pakendorf, Erna Alant
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 44, No 1 | a223 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v44i1.223 | © 2019 Corrieta Pakendorf, Erna Alant | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 1997

About the author(s)

Corrieta Pakendorf, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Erna Alant, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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There is currently a great demand for service provision for the African language speakers in South Africa. The difficulties associated with assessing speakers in the absence of assessment tools in the indigenous languages is, therefore, also a pertinent concern. Within the current socio-economic climate in South Africa where test translation and adaptation is often cited as a more viable option than that of developing new tests, very few guidelines exist for the development or adaptation of valid assessment tools for culturally and linguistically diverse population groups. This article is aimed at describing the process which took place when existing English test material, in this instance, The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R)(Dunn & Dunn, 1981) was translated and culturally adapted for the Northern Sotho population in Pretoria and surrounding areas. The findings of the research include practical examples of methodological considerations which should be taken into account while translating and undertaking cultural adaptation of test material. The newly adapted test material was also applied to a sample of 152 North-Sotho speaking pupils in the study area and the test results are discussed.


African languages; cross-cultural language testing; cultural validity; diverse populations; mother-tongue; non-mainstream; PPVT-R; receptive vocabulary; test translation; test adaptation


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1. Successfully Translating Language and Culture when Adapting Assessment Measures
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