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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The need for signed language assessments and the challenges inherent in developing such instruments have been well documented in the literature. Taking the discussion of assessing deaf children’s language skills to the next level, we focus on the following three areas: (1) Signed language assessment with small populations. The challenge of finding large enough deaf samples for standardizing a signed language test remains the biggest challenges in the field, specifically in smaller countries. (2) The use of new technologies. The technological advances of the 21st century are reflected in the growing number of signed language assessments that are computer or Web based. In this section, we discuss what the next generation of signed language tests may look like. (3) Dynamic language assessment with deaf populations. Dynamic assessment has seen growing international acceptance among clinicians as an alternative to standardized tests, and we discuss the implications of using it with signing and nonsigning deaf populations.

Keywords: signed language assessment, dynamic assessment, signed language development, Web-based sign language testing, assessing small population

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