Assessing Children's Proficiency in Natural Signed Languages

Jenny L. Singleton, Samuel J. Supalla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews published or known assessments of children's language proficiency across a number of the world's signed languages, including American Sign Language, British Sign Language, Australian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and German Sign Language. Critical issues in sign language assessment are also discussed, with special attention to possible threats to test reliability and validity. For example, test examiners may doubt the authenticity of the elicited language sample from a deaf, signing child, or test developers may question whether an adaptation of a spoken-language test is appropriate for use with deaf, signing children. The authors conclude that there remains a critical need in many countries for commercially available, and easy to administer, signed language proficiency assessments for use in research and education settings with deaf and hearing individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940271
ISBN (Print)9780199750986
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Assessment
  • Deaf
  • Hard-of-hearing
  • Hearing loss
  • Language proficiency tests
  • Sign language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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