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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Relationships among the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale : Fourth Edition, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary test-Revised and teacher rating for Canadian Chinese elementary age students Ng, Agnes Oi Kee


The use of standardized tests in the assessment of ethnic students who speak English as a second language has become an important issue in Canada due to the increasing number of immigrant students in the school system. The subjects of this study were a group of 34 Canadian born, bilingual Chinese third graders with at least three years of schooling in English. They were tested on two standardized tests and the results were compared with the standardization population. The study also investigated the correlations among these two measures and an informal teacher rating scale. The subjects were found to perform more than one standard deviation below the norm on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary test - Revised, which is a test of receptive language. Chinese speaking home environments and the culturally biased items in the test might have resulted in the significantly low score obtained by the subjects. On the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition, the subjects did not perform significantly different from the norm on the Test Composite, Verbal Reasoning, Abstract/Visual Reasoning, Short-Term Memory and seven subtests. They did score significantly higher than the norm on Pattern Analysis, Matrices, Number Series and Quantitative Reasoning and significantly lower on Copying and Memory for Sentences. When compared with a group of Asian subjects (ages 7-11) from the Stanford-Binet standardization sample, the subjects performed significantly higher on Quantitative Reasoning and lower on Short-term Memory. As consistent with the results of previous research, the subjects in the present study excelled in visual/perceptual and mathematical tests. It is possible that their (English Language) proficiency may have brought about significantly low score in Memory for Sentences. The four reasoning area scores on the Stanford-Binet were found to be significantly different from each other with the subjects' highest score in Quantitative Reasoning and the lowest in Short-Term Memory. Correlations among the three measures reached statistical significance ranging from the thirties to the sixties. Teacher rating correlated equally well with the standardized tests as there was no significant difference among the correlations. However, the correlations indicated that though these tests shared something in common, in practice, they cannot be used interchangeably. The study concluded that the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Revised may not be an appropriate instrument for measuring the receptive language of Chinese students who have English as their second language. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition could be considered a valid measure of the cognitive ability of this group of students. The positive and significant correlations among Teacher Rating and standardized tests indicate that teachers' perception of student ability parallels what formal testing reveals.

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