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    Language Assessments

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    What assessments would you suggest? (Read the following case study)

    M.J. is a 7 year old male in 2nd grade referred to me by his parents. I know the family from the neighbourhood and they asked me to work with him because he is having difficulties with putting words together. M.J. was a late talker; his mother said he was not really putting words together until he was age three. When he did begin talking, his sentences were immature-sounding and even in kindergarten and first and second grade he was making below-age-level grammar mistakes (referring to females and males) both with the pronoun "he;" dropping the "is" verb occasionally; and mis-producing past tenses of verbs, especially the irregular verbs like "go-went." He was also having difficulty with syntax (word order), especially question syntax so that when he asked me "how that get in there," he meant" how did that get in there" M.J. also had difficulty with precisely expressing his thoughts in specific words and phrases. This seemed to reflect problems with word retrieval, choosing just exactly the word needed to express his intent, and it also included difficultly organizing his thoughts into sentences that exactly expressed his intent. For example, one day he was describing a birthday party he had attended and he spoke of the birthday boy's mother putting "firesticks" on the "birthday food thing." When he came to a word or phrase that was hard to retrieve, he substituted a vague word or series of words that negatively affected listener understanding. M.J. was also experiencing difficulty in school with reading comprehension and expression as well as writing, and spelling.

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    Solution Preview

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    Based on the evidence you presented in the case-study of 7 year-old M.J., in the 2nd grade; I would suggest a language assessment. However, the assessment of language can be a difficult challenge for teachers and professional. Language in school may differ from language used at home. This is because one person in an environment may talk to same child differently in another environment. Keep in mind also, that language is closely related to other skills such as cognition and social skills making it difficult to determine whether one is observing a language skill or another functional skill.
    Despite the difficulties in language assessment, it is essential that language be identified and described. It is possible too that the child have a language impairment. Based on the observation, you've learned a great deal from the informal assessment.
    One example is the calculation of utterance length
    Utterance length is usually found by using a measure called, 'mean length of utterance' (MLU). MLU is calculated as follows:
    1. Divide the language samples into utterances; i.e., spoken sentences
    2. Count the morphemes in each ...

    Solution Summary

    The language assets suggestions are provided.