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Measurement issues: Assessing language skills in young children

Dockrell, JE; Marshall, CR; (2015) Measurement issues: Assessing language skills in young children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health , 20 (2) pp. 116-125. 10.1111/camh.12072. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Language and communication skills are central to children's ability to engage in social relationships and access learning experiences. This paper identifies issues which practitioners and researchers should consider when assessing language skills. A range of current language assessments is reviewed. Key findings: Current screening measures do not meet psychometric prerequisites to identify language problems. There are significant challenges in the interpretation of language assessments, where socioeconomic status, language status and dialect, hearing impairment and test characteristics impact results. Conclusions: Psychometrically sound assessments of language are an essential component of developing effective and efficient interventions. The language trajectories of preschool children vary substantially; current screening measures have significant limitations. Composite measures of language performance are better indicators of language problems and disorders than single measures of component skills.

Type: Article
Title: Measurement issues: Assessing language skills in young children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/camh.12072
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/camh.12072
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dockrell, JE; Marshall, CR; (2015) Measurement issues: Assessing language skills in young children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 20 (2) pp. 116-125, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/camh.12072. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms).
Keywords: Language; assessment; psychometrics; preschool; dynamic
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492756
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