What follows are some common language assessments used with very young children, along with basic information and descriptions of each.  In my next post I plan on doing the same for tests commonly used with both younger and older children.

Receptive Emergent Expressive Language Test (REEL)  reel3

Ages birth to 3.  The REEL (the latest edition is the REEL -3) is a checklist of language skills that uses a parent or guardian interview to determine expressive and receptive language function.  It can also be used as an informal checklist for older children with severe language delays.  It uses a language quotient that has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.  Click here for more information from the publisher, Pearson Assessments.

 Preschool Language Scale – 4 (PLS-4)

pls-4Ages birth to 6.  Uses pictures and objects to assess auditory comprehension and expressive communication across domains of syntax, morphology, semantics, and pragmatics.  This is a thorough, comprehensive test with good validity.  For a child over 6 with a very specific deficit in syntax, morphology or semantics, the CELF-4, CELF-Preschool-2, or CASL may be more sensitive.  Click here for more information from the publisher, Pearson Assessments.

 Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool-2 (CELF-Preschool-2)

celfp2Ages 3-6. Uses well drawn, color pictures. Good test for specific areas, and as second test for five and six year olds.  The CELF tests seem to have the best validity and specificity – it accurately identifies language disorders.  Core tests: Sentence Structure (Receptive); Word Structure (Expressive); Expressive Vocabulary. Additional subtests: Concepts and Following Directions (Receptive); Recalling Sentences (Expressive); Basic Concepts (Receptive); Word Classes (Receptive and Expressive).  Again, the publisher is Pearson – here’s more detailed information.