Toddler language skills : the predictor of language and preliteracy skills at five years
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze language skills present at 18 to 22 months that may indicate the language skills, specifically preliteracy skills, the child will possess at five years of age. This was determined by evaluating the language of children when they were toddlers and again when they were five. Method: Five monolingual, middle-class, American English speaking subjects participated in a play session with their caregiver when they were between the ages of 18 to 22 months. Mean Length of Utterance and Type: Token Ratio, were determined from the resulting conversational speech sample. Additionally, vocabulary and developmental abilities were screened using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words & Sentences and Ages and Stages Questionnaire, respectively. When the children were five, they were administered a standardized language test, the Comprehensive Evaluation of Language Fundamental-P2, a standardized pre-literacy test, the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing and their conversational speech was evaluated using Developmental Sentence Scoring. Results: Language skills at 18-22 months of age, which were all within normal limits, were not indicative of the children's performance at 5 years. Discussion: Five subjects were insufficient in providing reliable results for all measures especially since all subjects were normally developing.