Background Image
Previous Page  9 / 60 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 9 / 60 Next Page
Page Background

Diversity in practice


Volume 17, Number 1 2015













about children’s intelligibility (Flipsen, 1995) and used rating

scales for quantifying intelligibility (Kent, Miolo, & Bloedel,

1994). The ICS has been described as a measure of

functional success that “permits one to gain inroads into

what counts as a clinically, communicatively, as opposed to

merely statistically significant change in intelligibility, either

generally, or, more realistically, in relation to given listeners,

in given situations” (Miller, 2013, p. 608).

The Intelligibility in Context Scale was designed to

provide a first-phase screening measure of functional

intelligibility. It was designed so that speech pathologists

can determine whether children who speak languages

other than their own require additional assessment. One

of the challenges of speech pathologists who work in

diversely multilingual countries such as Australia is that

there are few screening and assessment tools that are

available in languages other than English (Caesar &

Kohler, 2007; Jordaan, 2008; Williams & McLeod, 2012).

While comprehensive assessments are available in some

languages (e.g., Cantonese, German, Japanese, Korean,

Turkish, Spanish, for a complete list see



many of these assessments require the speech pathologist

to speak that language in order to administer and score the

assessment (McLeod & Verdon, 2014). For other languages

(e.g., Dari, Fijian, Hmong, Somali, Tongan, isiXhosa,

isiZulu), there are few speech pathology assessments or

resources. The International Expert Panel on Multilingual

Children’s Speech (2012) recommended that speech

pathologists “generate and share knowledge, resources,

and evidence nationally and internationally to facilitate

the understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity that

will support multilingual children’s speech acquisition and

communicative competence” (p. 2). Consequently, speech

pathologists from across the world have collaborated to

provide the ICS as a free screening tool in 60 languages.

Validation and norming of the ICS

on English-speaking children

The ICS was originally validated on 120 Australian English-

speaking preschool-aged children (McLeod, Harrison &

McCormack, 2012b). In this study the ICS was found to

have high internal reliability, good sensitivity, and construct

validity. A positive correlation was found between the

children’s scores on the ICS and their percentage of

consonants correct on the Diagnostic Evaluation of

The Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) is a

free parent-report screening tool that has

been translated into 60 languages. The

creation of the 7-item scale was informed by

the World Health Organization’s International

Classification of Functioning, Disability, and

Health. Translation and back translation into

60 languages has been undertaken

internationally by speech pathologists,

linguists, and translators. Since its creation,

the ICS has been validated on 120 English-

speaking children in Australia and 74

Cantonese-speaking children from Hong

Kong. The ICS has been normed on 804

Australian English-speaking children and

additional validation, norming, and clinical

studies are underway in countries including:

Brazil, Croatia, Fiji, Iceland, Iran, Israel,

Jamaica, Germany, New Zealand, Slovenia,

South Africa, and Sweden. The ICS is a

promising screening measure for speech

pathologists to use to consider parental

perceptions of children’s intelligibility with

different communicative partners.


he Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS; McLeod,

Harrison & McCormack, 2012a) is parent-report

screening tool of children’s intelligibility with

different communicative partners. The seven questions

relate to different communicative partners: the parent,

immediate family members, extended family members,

the child’s friends, acquaintances, teachers and strangers.

Identification of these seven communicative partners was

informed by the Support and Relationships chapter within

the Environmental factors section of the International

Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: Children

and Youth (ICF-CY; World Health Organization, 2007).

Parents rate their children’s ability to be understood by

each of these communicative partners on a 5-point Likert

scale (

always, usually, sometimes, rarely, never

) and an

average score out of 5 is generated across the 7 items.

Previous researchers have used parents as informants

Intelligibility in Context


A parent-report screening tool translated into 60 languages

Sharynne McLeod