Teresa Garrido-Tamayo: “Using a story-based dynamic assessment to identify Developmental Language Disorder in children learning English as an additional language”

In Students by General Account

As a postgraduate researcher in Speech and Language Sciences and a speaker of English as an additional language (EAL) myself, I am passionate about helping young people to overcome their speech, language and communication difficulties, particularly those from homes where a language other than the predominant societal language is spoken. For this reason, my PhD project lies at the intersection of the two research areas that I am most interested in: bilingualism and atypical language development. Specifically, it focuses on the design and testing of a Dynamic Assessment that uses stories in English to distinguish school-aged EAL children with Developmental Language Disorder from their typically developing EAL peers based on their language learning potential, rather than on their performance at a single time point. Assessing whether EAL children’s language issues can be attributed to a Developmental Language Disorder or to reduced exposure to English is especially challenging, which means they are often at risk of not receiving the extra support they might need to minimise the communication and learning barriers they can encounter in their everyday lives. With my research, I intend to contribute to the development of more efficient assessment procedures that lead to better quality and more equitable services for these children, with the aim of recognising and addressing their needs as early as possible.