Help Develop Spanish SEL Assessments

There is a scarcity of validated Spanish-language social–emotional assessments, despite recognition that social–emotional competence is essential for a child’s success and well-being. Addressing this gap, investigators at Rush University Medical Center are conducting a study to establish the reliability, validity, and cultural acceptability of a Spanish-language version of VESIP, a web-based social reasoning assessment, for use by Spanish-speaking English language learner (ELL) students. VESIP-Spanish (VESIP-Sp) engages students through animated social situations within a simulated school environment that was transadapted from an English-language version.

Rush is presently looking for school district partners who are interested in administering VESIP-Sp to their ELL students and helping to establish the reliability and validity of VESIP-Sp in this population. Partnering school districts will have free access to the English- and Spanish-language versions of VESIP for their own program evaluation purposes in exchange for VESIP-Sp data and limited sociodemographic information.

They are also recruiting a few students to more directly participate in the research by completing VESIP-Sp during a “think aloud” session, where consented students will talk through their assessment experience one on one with research staff over Zoom, giving their impressions of the cultural acceptability of VESIP-Sp and information about what influenced their response choices.

Focus groups of students, parents, and school-based stakeholders will also be convened to give feedback on VESIP-Sp. Participation opportunities will be available in subsequent project years as well.

The goal of this study is to demonstrate the reliability, validity, and cultural acceptability of VESIP-Sp for Spanish-speaking ELL students or to identify specific areas for improvement within the existing program.

If you are interested in participating, please contact study coordinator Ashley Karls, BA ([email protected], 847-763-7963), or research assistant Dennis Sotelo Martinez, BA ([email protected], 312-563-7611), for more information.


  1. The importance of learning Spanish in today’s world is underestimated. Not only is Spanish today the second most widely spoken native language in the world after Mandarin Chinese, but it is spoken not only in Spain but also in most Central American and Latin American countries, as well as in the Caribbean, it is also an opportunity to develop your business. I work in a writing company, and speaking Spanish has a significant preference over all the other employees. This means that there are enormous opportunities for those who learn Spanish, also in terms of business: Latin American companies are actively developing, and opening representative offices on other continents. This means that people who speak Spanish become very valuable to potential employers.

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