Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Typical Performance on Tests of Language Knowledge and Language Processing of French-Speaking 5-Year-Olds

 
Author(s) Elin Thordardottir
Eva Keheyia
Nicole Lessard
Ann Sutton
Natacha Trudeau
Volume 34
Number 1
Year 2010
Page(s) 5-16
Language English
Category
Keywords Assessment
evaluation
norms
vocabulary
morphology
syntax
narration
nonword
repetition
processing
French
Abstract The evaluation of the language skills of francophone children for clinical and research purposes is complicated by a lack of appropriate norm-referenced assessment tools. The purpose of this study was the collection of normative data for measures assessing major areas of language for 5-year-old monolingual speakers of Quebec French. Children in three age-groups (4;6, 5;0 and 5;6 years, n=78) were administered tests of language knowledge and linguistic processing, addressing vocabulary, morphosyntax, syntax, narrative structure, nonword repetition, sentence imitation, rapid automatized naming, following directions, and short term memory. The assessment measures were drawn from existing tools and from tools developed for this study, and included formal tests as well as spontaneous language measures. Normative data are presented for the three age groups. Results showed a systematic increase with age for most of the measures. Correlational analysis revealed relationships of varying strength between the measures, indicating some overlap between the measures, but also suggesting that the measures differ in the linguistic skills they tap into. The normative data presented will facilitate the language assessment of French-speaking 5-year-olds, permitting their performance to be compared to the normal range of typically developing monolingual French-speaking children and allowing the documentation of children’s profi les of relative strengths and weaknesses within language.

L’évaluation des capacités langagières des enfants francophones à des fi ns clinique et de recherche est compliquée en raison du manque d’outils d’évaluation normalisés adéquats. Le but de cette étude était de recueillir des données normatives pour différentes mesures qui évaluent les principaux aspects du langage chez les enfants de cinq ans unilingues francophones québécois. Des enfants de trois groupes d’âge (4;6, 5;0 et 5;6, n=78) ont passé des examens sur les connaissances et le traitement du langage concernant : le vocabulaire, la morphosyntaxe, la syntaxe, la structure narrative, la répétition de non-mots, l’imitation de phrase, la dénomination rapide automatisée, l’application de consignes et la mémoire à court terme. Les mesures d’évaluation ont été élaborées à partir d’outils existants et d’outils créés pour la présente étude. Elles étaient composées de tâches formelles ainsi que de mesures du langage spontané. Les données normatives sont présentées pour les trois groupes d’âge. Les résultats de la plupart des mesures ont montré une amélioration systématique avec l’âge. L’analyse corrélationnelle a révélé des relations de forces variées entre les mesures, indiquant un certain chevauchement entre certaines d’entre elles, mais suggérant aussi que les mesures varient en fonction des capacités langagières mises à profi t. Les données normatives présentées faciliteront l’évaluation du langage chez les enfants francophones de cinq ans. Elles permettront de comparer leur performance à celles des enfants unilingues francophones dont le développement est dans la norme et de documenter le profi l des enfants quant à leurs forces et faiblesses relatives au langage.
Record ID 996
Link http://cjslpa.ca/files/2010_CJSLPA_Vol_34/No_01_1-80/Thordardottir_CJSLPA_2010.pdf
 
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