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Preschool Language Scale
We use the Preschool Language Scale (PLS) to assess children's understanding and use of English. The test is administered to monitor the development of ‘auditory comprehension'; and ‘expressive communication’ from birth through 6 years 11 months of age. The PLS tests your child’s understanding of spoken language (Auditory Comprehension) and his use of spoken language (Expressive Communication). The PLS uses parental input, specific testing toys (such as a teddy bear and cups/spoons) as well as a book with colourful pictures in order to test your child’s language. The PLS scores also give teachers information about your child's language development that is useful for planning educational programs.
The PLS is a standardised test. This means that when it was developed, many children (1564 children in fact) were tested to work out specific information about language development of children at different ages in the general population. In the LOCHI study, we relate the score of each child to the normative population to generate a “standard score”. Therefore, the test has to be administered in the “standard” way. This means, for example, using the phrasing specified in the test for eliciting responses, allowing only two repetitions of an item, and requiring children to make seven consecutive errors before the test can be stopped. It also means that the PLS can only be administered by a speech pathologist or a person with specialised experience and training in assessing children’s language.