Early identification of Hispanic English language learners for gifted and talented programs
The exponential growth of the Hispanic student population and the controversial educational issue surrounding the assessment of English language learners are the two fundamental topics of this study. Due to the uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the assessment of the escalating Hispanic student population, the underrepresentation of Hispanics in gifted and talented (GT) programs has developed into a critical educational concern (Bernal, 2002; Irby & Lara-Alecio, 1996; Ortiz & Gonzalez, 1998). The research questions that guided this study focused on finding validated assessments for early identification of the gifted Hispanic English language learners (ELLs) in kindergarten. The first research question aimed to determine the concurrent validity of the Hispanic Bilingual Gifted Screening Instrument (HBGSI) using the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT) and Wookcock Language Proficient Battery-Revised (WLPB-R) selected three subtests, administered in English and Spanish. This study found a positive statistically significant correlation between the HBGSI, the NNAT, and WLPB-R subtests. The second question focused on the correlation between language proficiency as measured by the WLPB-R subtests and nonverbal intelligence measured using the NNAT. This analysis found that there was a statistically significant correlation between the NNAT and the WLPB-R subtests. The third question concentrated on the difference in performance on the NNAT and WLPB-R subtests by two student groups, those identified and those not identified GT using the HBGSI. The study determined that the students identified GT performed statistically significantly different on the NNAT than those not identified GT. The fourth question centered on the difference in performance on the HBGSI of students enrolled in a transitional bilingual education (TBE) and those enrolled in an English as a second language (ESL) classroom. The results of my study showed that students in a TBE classroom performed statistically significantly different on five HBGSI clusters (Social & Academic Language, Familial, Collaboration, Imagery, and Creative Performance) than students in ESL classroom. The study??s results were analyzed, interpreted and discussed in this dissertation.