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What is the purpose of language sampling?
- Used to gather quantitative data to support a diagnosis of a language disorder
- Used as a source of qualitative data for intervention planning
- Gives us an idea of where a child is at developmentally
- We take language samples so that we have concrete evidence. It gives us a base line of where they are today and later we can compare to see where a child is later in therapy.
- It affords us the richest (authentic and shows their integrated language abilities- all aspects (form, content, use)) opportunity to evaluate a child’s language.
- On of the best methods we have for assessing base-line.
What number of utterances is appropriate?
- A 50 utterance sample is usually adequate
- About 15-30 minutes of conversation
- 50 utterances give you about 80% of what you would get in a 100 utterance sample.
How many sampling sessions are targeted?
- May want to collect two 10 minute samples
- Want a variety of kinds of talk
- Want a representative sample
Describe appropriate language sampling toys and activities for children of different ages.
- Brown's stages
- 1-3 Familiar and unfamiliar toys - child centered conversation on here and now topics
- 4-5 pretend play materials - child centered convo on here and now and there and then topics
- 5+ picture books, unusualt objects to describe - object description, narrations of personal experiences, story reteling, or story generation from pic book.
Suggestions for collecting language samples
- Say Nothing
- After the initial greeting
- Parallel Play
- Direct talk toward toys not child (effective for children operating at 30 months or below)
- Interactive Play
- Share toys with announcements (little talk in the first five minutes; effective from 3-5 yrs old)
- Interactive Play without Introduction
- Work together to draw or make something (maybe as a warm up for a child then stop and talk; effective for 8-9 year olds)
eliciting a range of language functions
- Playing house or farm
- Dolls, puppets, adventure or action figures
- Farm set or street scene
- Simulated grocery store, gas station, fast-food restaurant, beauty parlor
- Playing school
- Acting out stories, television shows, movies
- Imaginary play
- Simulated TV talk show
What possible problems may arise when unfamiliar adults attempt to talk to children,
especially those from minority populations?
The adult is not familiar and the child may not want to talk to them or the adult may not understamd the child's dialect. Either way, we can get around this by collecting the sample when the child's parent or a familiar adult is around.
Tips for collecting samples
- Choose toys that support problem solving and pretend play
- Utilize child-centered conversation focused on here and now topics (try to talk about things in the room or use photos)
- Older students – Use narration of personal experience or story retelling
- Wondering out loud rather than asking direct questions
- Let the child be the active speaker not a passive speaker.