Practitioners’ experiences of cross-cultural issues in the assessment of cognitive functioning in culturally and linguistically diverse learners for whom English is a second language (CLD l2) : theoretical, ethical and practical implications.
Zuma., Annastasia Zandile.
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This study sought to explore practising psychologists‟ experiences of cross-cultural issues in the assessment of cognitive functioning of culturally and linguistically diverse learners for whom English is a second language (CLD L2). The study focused on theoretical, practical and ethical implications of such an assessment. This was a qualitative study. The population of the study was practising psychologists in the Pietermaritzburg region of KwaZulu-Natal. The sampling method used was convenience sampling. The study was conducted on six selected psychologists that fell within three practicing categories: clinical, educational and counselling psychology, who were currently in practice, administering psychometric tests and assessment measures and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). An interview schedule was used as a data gathering instrument. The participants were asked their views about the assessment measures that they commonly use, challenges they encounter in their day-to-day practice and how they deal with these challenges. In analysing data, the method of thematic analysis was used. The findings indicated that practising psychologists see clients from diverse cultural and linguistic groups and use a variety of assessment measures, mostly internationally developed with only a few developed locally. The nature of assessment tools used pose a number of challenges and the majority of these tools are perceived to be inappropriate for use in a multicultural South African context. The findings highlighted the dire need for assessment measures that will cater for culturally and linguistically diverse South African community. It is recommended that there should be adaptation and review of assessment tools and development of new local assessment tools appropriate for the South African context. Ongoing training as well as the review and evaluation of the academic training of psychologists is highly recommended in order to prepare psychologists for cross-cultural testing.