Developing a naming test for Urdu-English bilinguals : a preliminary study
The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot a naming test for Urdu-English bilinguals, a population that is growing quickly in the United States. Eighty-five target items were selected from the International Picture Naming Project Database and arranged in the order of least to most familiar. Familiarity ratings were used as estimates of item difficulty to develop the naming task because word frequency information was not available in the Urdu language. Thirty-one young adult bilinguals named black-and-white drawing of these targets in both Urdu and English. Self-rating of proficiency, examiner rating of proficiency and a standardized English receptive vocabulary test were used to cross-validate the naming test. The participants' current and cumulative language use were measured to investigate the relationships among language use, naming performance, and other measures of proficiency. The results indicate that performance on the naming test was correlated with convergent measures of language proficiency, including self-rating, examiner rating, and standardized test performance. Naming performance was related to cumulative reading experience in participants' first language. Familiarity ratings were related to naming performance in Urdu. These findings suggest that the naming task developed in the current study is a valid measure of language proficiency, and that familiarity ratings can be used as estimation of item difficulty in test development when word frequency data are unavailable. The naming test should be refined and further piloted with participants of various ages and those who are Urdu-dominant or balanced bilingual.