Approaching Sign Language Test Construction: Adaptation of the German Sign Language Receptive Skills Test
There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children’s sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired in preschool- and school-aged children (4–8 years old) is urgently needed. Using the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test, that has been standardized and has sound psychometric properties, as a template for adaptation thus provides a starting point for tests of a sign language that is less documented, such as DGS. This article makes a novel contribution to the field by examining linguistic, cultural, and methodological issues in the process of adapting a test from the source language to the target language. The adapted DGS test has sound psychometric properties and provides the basis for revision prior to standardization.