Establishing Language Benchmarks for Children With Typically Developing Language and Children With Language Impairment Purpose Practitioners, researchers, and policymakers (i.e., stakeholders) have vested interests in children's language growth yet currently do not have empirically driven methods for measuring such outcomes. The present study established language benchmarks for children with typically developing language (TDL) and children with language impairment (LI) from 3 to 9 years ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   January 25, 2017
Establishing Language Benchmarks for Children With Typically Developing Language and Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Beth Schmitt
    Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • Jessica A. R. Logan
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Sherine R. Tambyraja
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Kelly Farquharson
    Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Laura M. Justice
    Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Mary Beth Schmitt: marybeth.schmitt.@ttuhsc.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Marleen Westerveld
    Associate Editor: Marleen Westerveld×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   January 25, 2017
Establishing Language Benchmarks for Children With Typically Developing Language and Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0273
History: Received August 4, 2015 , Revised December 21, 2015 , Accepted April 28, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0273
History: Received August 4, 2015; Revised December 21, 2015; Accepted April 28, 2016

Purpose Practitioners, researchers, and policymakers (i.e., stakeholders) have vested interests in children's language growth yet currently do not have empirically driven methods for measuring such outcomes. The present study established language benchmarks for children with typically developing language (TDL) and children with language impairment (LI) from 3 to 9 years of age.

Method Effect sizes for grammar, vocabulary, and overall language were calculated for children with TDL (n = 20,018) using raw score means and standard deviations from 8 norm-referenced measures of language. Effect sizes for children with LI were calculated using fall and spring norm-referenced language measures for 497 children with LI receiving business-as-usual therapy in the public schools.

Results Considerable variability was found in expected change across both samples of children over time, with preschoolers exhibiting larger effect sizes (d = 0.82 and 0.70, respectively) compared with school-age children (d = 0.49 and 0.55, respectively).

Conclusions This study provides a first step toward establishing empirically based language benchmarks for children. These data offer stakeholders an initial tool for setting goals based on expected growth (practitioners), making informed decisions on language-based curricula (policymakers), and measuring effectiveness of intervention research (researchers).

Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the efforts of our project staff and research assistants who were instrumental in these research projects. We are especially thankful to the speech-language pathologists, classroom teachers, families, and students who participated in these studies. These research projects were supported by grant R324A080037 (STAR-2) and grant R324A090012 (STEPS) from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, to Laura M. Justice.
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