Differentiating School-Aged Children With and Without Language Impairment Using Tense and Grammaticality Measures From a Narrative Task Purpose To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the finite verb morphology composite (FVMC), number of errors per C-unit (Errors/CU), and percent grammatical C-units (PGCUs) in differentiating school-aged children with language impairment (LI) and those with typical language development (TL). Method Participants were 61 six-year-olds (50 TL, 11 LI) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2016
Differentiating School-Aged Children With and Without Language Impairment Using Tense and Grammaticality Measures From a Narrative Task
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ling-Yu Guo
    University at Buffalo, NY
  • Phyllis Schneider
    University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • 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 Ling-Yu Guo: lingyugu@buffalo.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Shelley Gray
    Associate Editor: Shelley Gray×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2016
Differentiating School-Aged Children With and Without Language Impairment Using Tense and Grammaticality Measures From a Narrative Task
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 317-329. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0066
History: Received February 12, 2015 , Revised April 14, 2015 , Accepted September 10, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2016, Vol. 59, 317-329. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0066
History: Received February 12, 2015; Revised April 14, 2015; Accepted September 10, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the finite verb morphology composite (FVMC), number of errors per C-unit (Errors/CU), and percent grammatical C-units (PGCUs) in differentiating school-aged children with language impairment (LI) and those with typical language development (TL).

Method Participants were 61 six-year-olds (50 TL, 11 LI) and 67 eight-year-olds (50 TL, 17 LI). Narrative samples were collected using a story-generation format. FVMC, Errors/CU, and PGCUs were computed from the samples.

Results All of the three measures showed acceptable to good diagnostic accuracy at age 6, but only PGCUs showed acceptable diagnostic accuracy at age 8 when sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios were considered.

Conclusion FVMC, Errors/CU, and PGCUs can all be used in combination with other tools to identify school-aged children with LI. However, FVMC and Errors/CU may be an appropriate diagnostic tool up to age 6. PGCUs, in contrast, may be a sensitive tool for identifying children with LI at least up to age 8 years.

Acknowledgment
The development of the Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument was supported by a grant from the Children's Health Foundation of Northern Alberta, awarded to Phyllis Schneider. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Children's Health Foundation of Northern Alberta. We are grateful to the children who participated and the teachers and clinicians who referred children to the present study. We also thank Amy Briggs and Sanjana Nair for coding the data and Dr. Linda Spencer for her suggestion on this article.
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