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Development of the Grammar and Phonology Screening (GAPS) test to assess key markers of specific language and literacy difficulties in young children.

Gardner, H; Froud, K; McClelland, A; van der Lely, HK; (2006) Development of the Grammar and Phonology Screening (GAPS) test to assess key markers of specific language and literacy difficulties in young children. Int J Lang Commun Disord , 41 (5) pp. 513-540. 10.1080/13682820500442644.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite a large body of evidence regarding reliable indicators of language deficits in young children, there has not been a standardized, quick screen for language impairment. The Grammar and Phonology Screening (GAPS) test was therefore designed as a short, reliable assessment of young children's language abilities. AIMS: GAPS was designed to provide a quick screening test to assess whether pre- and early school entry children have the necessary grammar and pre-reading phonological skills needed for education and social development. This paper reports the theoretical background to the test, the pilot study and reliability, and the standardization. METHODS: This 10-min test comprises 11 test sentences and eight test nonsense words for direct imitation and is designed to highlight significant markers of language impairment and reading difficulties. To standardize the GAPS, 668 children aged 3.4-6.6 were tested across the UK, taking into account population distribution and socio-economic status. The test was carried out by a range of health and education professionals as well as by students and carers using only simple, written instructions. RESULTS: GAPS is effective in detecting a range of children in need of further in-depth assessment or monitoring for language difficulties. The results concur with those from much larger epidemiological studies using lengthy testing procedures. CONCLUSIONS: The GAPS test (1) provides a successful screening tool; (2) is designed to be administered by professionals and non-professionals alike; and (3) facilitates identification of language impairment or at-risk factors of reading impairment in the early educational years. Thus, the test affords a first step in a process of assessment and targeted intervention to enable children to reach their potential.

Type: Article
Title: Development of the Grammar and Phonology Screening (GAPS) test to assess key markers of specific language and literacy difficulties in young children.
Location: England
DOI: 10.1080/13682820500442644
Keywords: Age Distribution, Child, Child Language, Child, Preschool, Educational Status, Female, Humans, Language Development Disorders, Language Tests, Male, Mass Screening, Phonetics, Pilot Projects, Reading, Reproducibility of Results, Sex Distribution
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Experimental Psychology
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/11761
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