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Volume 3 - Issue 1 - June 2019

Latest issue of Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics


TITLE: Accounting for individual differences in language and literacy disorder assessment:

The sociocultural approach.

Author: Tassos Katsaris

Educational Advisor - Learning & Development Coordinator

Grivas Publications

3 Irodotou Street, Aspropirgos 193 00, Greece


Published online: 24 July 2019, pp. 53-64



Katsaris, T. (2019) Accounting for individual differences in language and literacy disorder assessment: The sociocultural approach, Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics, 3(1), pp. 53-64.


Child development can be studied by considering the developmental milestones reflecting changes of the average child or through the assessment of individual differences among children (McCartney & Phillips, 2006). Although both perspectives offer valuable insights, the latter is of particular interest with applied problems like the suggestion of evidence-based education practices and the assessment of language and literacy disorders. The current essay, with reference to theoretical and empirical evidence, will discuss the utility of the sociocultural approach in language and literacy disorder assessment, which accounts for individual differences. Empirical evidence suggests that although language development follows a typical path, there are substantial individual differences in the pattern and timing of language development among typically developing children. Furthermore, the literature on disordered language indicates considerable individual differences in the rate and pattern of language skills development among atypically developing children facing the same disorder. Different developmental areas can be interrelated in very different ways and degrees. We also know that children use language in different ways under different contexts and interactional settings (DeLuca & Cleary, 2017; Dodd & Crosbie, 2011; Conti-Ramsden & Durkin, 2012). The sociocultural approach recognises the fact that language is the product of an interplay between biology and the social environment. As such, an informative assessment requires a multi-method approach in a multidimensional setting, utilizing appropriate tools and informants (caregivers/parents, teachers, professionals) that constitute the biological and socio-cultural setting of language development.

                                                                                © Applied Language Studies House Publications 2019. All rights reserved.


Keywords: language assessment; literacy disorder assessment; sociocultural approach

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