Selection of Preschool Language Tests A Data-Based Approach Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 1994
Selection of Preschool Language Tests
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elena Plante
    The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Rebecca Vance
    The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Contact author: Elena Plante, Scottish Rite/University of Arizona Center for Childhood Language Disorders, 33 E. Ochoa Street, Tucson, AZ 85701.
    Contact author: Elena Plante, Scottish Rite/University of Arizona Center for Childhood Language Disorders, 33 E. Ochoa Street, Tucson, AZ 85701.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 1994
Selection of Preschool Language Tests
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1994, Vol. 25, 15-24. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2501.15
History: Received July 20, 1992 , Accepted April 21, 1993
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 1994, Vol. 25, 15-24. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2501.15
History: Received July 20, 1992; Accepted April 21, 1993

Clinicians are confronted with a wide range of norm-referenced tests designed to evaluate preschool language skills. This article approaches test selection from a data-based perspective. Twenty-one tests of language skills that included norms for children ages 4 and 5 years were reviewed for information on 10 psychometric criteria. Only 38% of these tests met half or more of the 10 psychometric criteria employed by McCauley and Swisher (1984a) in their review. Four tests that met a relatively high number of psychometric criteria (6 or more) were administered to 20 preschool children with specific language impairment and 20 age-matched controls. High interexaminer reliability was obtained for all tests. All tests had low correlations with a measure of nonverbal skills. Only one of the four tests provided acceptable accuracy in discriminating between the children with normal and the children with impaired language in our sample. Our empirical examination of four tests revealed that even tests that pass relatively high numbers of psychometric criteria may not be precise discriminators of normal and impaired language in 4- and 5-year-old children, indicating the need to complement psychometric review with data-based validation procedures.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Work at the Child Language Center is supported by U.S. Department of Education Grant HO29D20070, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant KO8DC00077, and the Tucson Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation. We thank Linda Swisher for her helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript.
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