Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol 36, No 3 (2013)

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CONDUCTING COMMUNICATION ASSESSMENTS WITH SCHOOL AGED ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN THE KIMBERLEY REGION OF AUSTRALIA

Claire Salter

Abstract


Speech pathology assessment within cross-cultural contexts, where the assessor and client differ in their cultural backgrounds, can create many challenges for assessment usage and implementation. With Australia being home to people from many cultures, this is a particular challenge for speech pathologists working in this country. This paper outlines the development of an assessment specifically for Aboriginal children living in a discrete region of the Kimberley in Western Australia. This assessment was developed in collaboration with local language experts as well as speechpathologists experienced in the area of assessment with Indigenous children. Nearly all parts of the assessment were administered by a local co-worker in the children’s first language, Kimberley or Fitzroy Valley Kriol. The paper outlines the specific components of the assessment as well as theapproaches taken to ensure fair and accurate assessment of children’s communication skills. It highlights the benefits of collaborating with local co-workers and provides those working with Indigenous children in Australia with practical activities to consider.

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