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Preschool Language Part Three: Rethinking Language Assessment Tools

presented by Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Anne Van Kleeck receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Anne Van Kleeck has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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This course distinguishes between academic talk and casual talk and discusses implications for language assessment tools for pre-school children, especially those from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds. Participants will learn how analyses of spontaneous conversational language samples tap casual talk skills while formal language tests tap academic talk skills. There will be discussion of the general pattern of strengths and weaknesses in language registers for children whose parents have lower education levels, and a new role for SLPs will be considered for diagnosing weaknesses specific to the academic talk register.

Meet Your Instructor

Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP

Anne van Kleeck, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Professor and Callier Research Scholar at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in the School of Behavioral and Brain Science at the University of Texas in Dallas. She has taught courses and guided student research on children's language development and language impairments for several decades. Anne's research focuses…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Overview of Pattern Findings in Research Regarding Different Language Assessment

This chapter reviews the pattern of findings in language assessment research in which formal discrete point tests and elicited narrative retell tasks have a moderate to strong relationship to children’s future reading comprehension and academic success, but conversational language sample analysis measures do not. Possible explanations are presented in relationship to the functionalist perspective of language development.

2. Three Currently-Held General Beliefs Regarding Language Development That We Need to Refine

This chapter challenges three currently-held beliefs in the field of speech language pathology regarding language development and offers refinements based on what we know about the casual talk and academic talk registers. Discussion of the relationship between maternal education level and certain profiles of language strength and weakness is provided.

3. Refining the Current Belief that Formal Language Tests Over-Diagnose Language Impairment in CLD/LME Children

This chapter challenges the current belief that formal language tests over-diagnose language impairment in CLD/LME children and so should not be used for CLD/LME populations. Instead, a refinement including a new purpose for using formal language testing with the CLD/LME population is recommended.

4. Refining the Current Belief that All Language Assessment Tools Reflect Preschoolers' General Oral Language Skills

This chapter challenges the current belief that all language assessment tools reflect preschoolers’ general oral language skills and offers refinement that different language assessments actually reflect preschoolers’ skills with different oral language registers.

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