Cawthon, S. W., Kaye, A. D., Lockhart, L. L., & Beretvas, S. N. (2012). Effects of linguistic complexity and accommodations on estimates of ability for students with learning disabilities . Journal of School Psychology , 50 (3), 293–316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2012.01.002
Cawthon, S. W., Kaye, A. D., Lockhart, L. L., & Beretvas, S. N. (2012). Effects of linguistic complexity and accommodations on estimates of ability for students with learning disabilities. Journal of School Psychology, 50(3), 293–316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2012.01.002
Accommodations in four categories (setting, timing, presentation, and response) were provided for this study. Accommodations allowed were: small group, individual, study carrel, preferential seating, familiar examiner, extended time, frequent breaks, read aloud/repeat (for math only), assistance to understand, large print, magnifier, dictate or point to scribe, computer, large pen, and write in test booklet.
Participants were grade 4 students with a specific learning disability who participated in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP; U.S.) testing using one or more accommodations. All students included in the analysis had disabilities, and all had learning disabilities; some students also reported the following disabilities: speech impairments (n=310), hearing impairments (n=10), intellectual disabilities (n<10), and visual impairments (n<10). The extant data were sampled, and 2,180 of the mathematics scores and 2,170 of the reading scores (n=4,350) were analyzed for this study.
The dependent variable for this study was scores on the NAEP math and reading test items, and the impact of accommodations used and the linguistic complexity of each item on item difficulty.
Items that were more linguistically complex were more difficult for students with learning disabilities. However, when students were allowed to use accommodations this pattern held for reading but not for math. The four types of accommodations were examined, and it was found that there was no effect of accommodations on student outcomes in math, but students who received setting and/or presentation accommodations had lower scores on the reading test than students who did not receive accommodations of these types. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.