Accessibility navigation

A critical analysis of standardized testing in speech and language therapy

Nair, V. K. K. ORCID:, Farah, W. and Cushing, I. (2023) A critical analysis of standardized testing in speech and language therapy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 54 (3). pp. 781-793. ISSN 0161-1461

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1044/2023_LSHSS-22-00141


Purpose: This review article critically interrogates the history and the current practice of standardized assessment in speech and language therapy. Speech and language assessments utilizing standardized linguistic norms are a critical tool for constructing disability and controlling disabled individuals. Such practices are rooted in a medical model of disability where the linguistic practice(s) of the individual is pathologized to create normalcy and disorder. Method: We examine how these practices are anchored in eugenics and the racist logics of intelligence testing in which racialized populations were rendered as linguistically and biologically inferior. Results: This review article shows how ideologies governing standardized assessments are influenced by racism, ableism, and the nation-state and serve as foundational mechanisms to enable surveillance and capital production. It demonstrates how standard language ideologies are central to standardized testing. Speech and language therapy practices upholding these ideologies contribute to unrestrained wealth generation for the testing industry. Conclusions: The review article ends with a call for clinicians, educators, and researchers to critically examine the relationship between standardized assessment, race, disability, and capitalism in speech-language therapy. This process will contribute toward dismantling the hegemonic role of standardized assessment in oppression and marginalization of speech and language−disabled individuals.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:112405


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation