Tests in Indian languages to detect learning disabilities

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2015 12:27 IST

Students can now be screened for learning disabilities in languages apart from English. The testing tool has been translated to languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

Earlier, the English tool did not yield accurate results for students of vernacular medium schools.Pearson’s Clinical & Talent Assessment division has designed the tool for children between 7 and 11 years of age, said psychiatrist Dhaval Mody, Pearson’s authorised training partner in the state.

“The objective of this tool is to screen children at the school-level so that early remediation is possible,” said Mody. “School teachers and counsellors, after being trained, can conduct these tests,” he added.

Mody said currently only curriculum based tests (CBT) were available in a few regional languages but they were based on the respective state-boards and could not be used for all students.

Many organisations are working on testing tools in regional languages, including Urdu.

Developmental paediatrician, New Horizons Child Development Centre and Sion hospital, Dr Samir Dalwai said, “We are facing problems because of the unavailability of testing tools in regional languages, especially Urdu.”

Dalwai added that these tests needed to be standardised for the local population and it was important to find a normal achievement level. His proposal for the creation of a database of 5000 students from the Konkan region has not materialised due to lack of funds.

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