Original Articles

Speech and Language Disorders in Kenyan Children: Adapting Tools for Regions with Few Assessment Resources

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 22, issue 2, 2012 , pages: 155–169
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2012.10820514
Author(s): Julie Anne CarterThe Centre for Geographic Medicine Research (Coast),, Grace MuriraThe Centre for Geographic Medicine Research (Coast),, Joseph GonaThe Centre for Geographic Medicine Research (Coast),, Judy TumainiThe Centre for Geographic Medicine Research (Coast),, Janet LeesNeurosciences Unit,, Brian George NevilleNeurosciences Unit,, Charles Richard NewtonThe Centre for Geographic Medicine Research (Coast),


This study sought to adapt a battery of Western speech and language assessment tools to a rural Kenyan setting. The tool was developed for children whose first language was KiGiryama, a Bantu language. A total of 539 Kenyan children (males=271, females=268, ethnicity=100% Kigiryama) were recruited. Data were initially collected from 52 children (pilot assessments), and then from a larger group of 487 children (152 cerebral malaria, 156 severe malaria and seizures, 179 unexposed). The language assessments were based upon the Content, Form and Use (C/F/U) model. The assessment was based upon the adapted versions of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Test for the Reception of Grammar, Renfrew Action Picture Test, Pragmatics Profile of Everyday Communication Skills in Children, Test of Word Finding and language specific tests of lexical semantics, higher level language. Preliminary measures of construct validity suggested that the theoretical assumptions behind the construction of the assessments were appropriate and re-test and inter-rater reliability scores were acceptable. These findings illustrate the potential to adapt Western speech and language assessments in other languages and settings, particularly those in which there is a paucity of standardised tools.

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