Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Gerken, Kathryn

First Committee Member

Santos, Ann

Second Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Third Committee Member

Plakans, Lia

Fourth Committee Member

Ehly, Stewart


The purpose of this dissertation was to determine the most valid language psychologists can use to assess Spanish-speaking students who are English language learners, depending on the students’ English language proficiency level, Spanish language proficiency level, and demographic information. Participants included 84 2nd to 5th grade Spanish-speaking students who were English language learners. These students were given a demographic survey, a WISC-IV in English, and a WISC-IV in Spanish. The school had English and Spanish language proficiency data. Results found that once a student reaches the Bridging and Reaching levels (and possibly the Expanding level) of English language proficiency on the ACCESS for ELLs assessment, the student is likely to receive a similar score on a WISC-IV in English and Spanish. Students who score in the Proficient and Above Proficient levels on the Las Links assessment score higher on the Spanish WISC-IV than on the English WISC-IV. Additionally, these findings show that English and Spanish proficiency scores are more useful to determine the most valid language in which to assess a student than using demographic variables. This research will help psychologists to decide the most valid language in which to assess students who are ELL by looking at English and Spanish language proficiency levels. There may also be policy implications. Further research should address how the outcome might change with the WISC-V and should look at generalization to other intelligence tests and language proficiency tests.


assessment, bilingual, ELL, IQ, school psychology, WISC


x, 132 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 101-108).


Copyright 2016 Abigail Rachel Kramer Kopelman