A Multiyear Population-Based Study of Kindergarten Language Screening Failure Rates Using the Rice Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate, over 2 separate school years, the school-district-wide failure rate of kindergartners on a screener of grammatical tense marking—the Rice Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) Screening Test (Rice & Wexler, 2001)—composed of past tense (PT) and third-person singular (3S) probes. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 05, 2018
A Multiyear Population-Based Study of Kindergarten Language Screening Failure Rates Using the Rice Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brian Weiler
    Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
  • C. Melanie Schuele
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Jacob I. Feldman
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Hannah Krimm
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Brian Weiler: brian.weiler@wku.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray
    Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray×
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Clinical Forum: Toward Accurate Identification of Developmental Language Disorder Within Linguistically Diverse Schools.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Clinical Forum: Toward Accurate Identification of Developmental Language Disorder Within Linguistically Diverse Schools.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Clinical Forum: Toward Accurate Identification of Developmental Language Disorder Within Linguistically Diverse Schools / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 05, 2018
A Multiyear Population-Based Study of Kindergarten Language Screening Failure Rates Using the Rice Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2018, Vol. 49, 248-259. doi:10.1044/2017_LSHSS-17-0071
History: Received July 17, 2017 , Revised October 16, 2017 , Accepted December 4, 2017
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2018, Vol. 49, 248-259. doi:10.1044/2017_LSHSS-17-0071
History: Received July 17, 2017; Revised October 16, 2017; Accepted December 4, 2017
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate, over 2 separate school years, the school-district-wide failure rate of kindergartners on a screener of grammatical tense marking—the Rice Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) Screening Test (Rice & Wexler, 2001)—composed of past tense (PT) and third-person singular (3S) probes.

Method In the fall of 2 consecutive school years, consented and eligible kindergartners (n = 148 in Year 1, n = 126 in Year 2) in a rural southern school district were administered the TEGI Screening Test. Children who failed the screening test or either of the individual probes (PT or 3S) were administered the Primary Test of Nonverbal Intelligence. All children also completed the Test of Articulation Performance–Screen (Bryant & Bryant, 1983) and, in Year 2, the Get Ready to Read! emergent literacy screener (Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001).

Results The screening tool outcome most closely and consistently aligned with the recommended failure rate of approximately 30% (Oetting, Gregory, & Rivière, 2016; based on Tomblin et al., 1997) was the TEGI PT probe. TEGI Screening Test and 3S probe failure rates fell below the recommended level. Most children who failed the PT probe demonstrated nonverbal intelligence skills within the average range. In addition, most children who failed the PT probe would not have been readily identified on the basis of only the results of their articulation or emergent literacy screenings.

Conclusions The TEGI PT probe is an efficient and reliable screener that identifies children for monitoring or additional language assessment. Children with language vulnerabilities are not necessarily identified by articulation or emergent literacy screenings at entry to kindergarten. To identify children at risk for language impairment, it is therefore necessary to directly screen oral language.

Acknowledgments
The completion of this study and preparation of this article was supported by U.S. Department of Education H325D080075 and H325D140087 (Schuele: PI) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (Weiler: PI). We thank Lillian Brown, Marley Kern, Laurel Teller, and Allison Walker, members of the Child Language and Literacy Lab, for their contributions in completing this study.
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