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Receptive Language Assessments: The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) and the Pre-school Language Scale (PLS-4) PowerPoint Presentation
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Receptive Language Assessments: The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) and the Pre-school Language Scale (PLS-4). By Craig Domanski & Allison Vieira. PLS-4 Description.

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Receptive Language Assessments: The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) and the Pre-school Language Scale (PLS-4)

By Craig Domanski


Allison Vieira

pls 4 description
PLS-4 Description
  • The PLS-4 is an individually administered standardized test of communication typically used with infants to children aged 6 years and 11 months who present characteristics of a language disorder or delay.
  • It consists of two subscales to assess auditory comprehension/receptive and expressive skills.
  • It also provides three supplemental measures which include an articulation screener, a language sample checklist and a caregiver questionnaire.
  • The administration materials are an examiner’s manual that describes the process of the administration, scoring and interpretation procedures, a record form, a picture manual with colored stimuli and a manipulative box (blanket,toys,spoons) used for assessment.
  • The test time is 20-45 minutes (dependent on child).
pls 4 description3
PLS-4 Description
  • The auditory comprehension/ receptive subscale assesses areas such as: attention to speakers, object play, comprehension of basic vocabulary, grammatical markers, identifying rhyming words and making comparisons.
  • The expressive communication subscale asks preschoolers to name objects, use concepts that describe objects, express quantity, use grammatical markers, etc.
  • For older children it includes word segmentation, completing analogies, telling a short story in sequence, etc. This test also includes an articulation screener and a language sample checklist.
  • There are a totally of 62 receptive and 42 expressive areas assessed.
pls 4 pros
PLS-4 Pros
  • There is a Spanish version of the assessment
  • Info obtained from assessment can be used in portfolio
  • Can be useful for children with severe language delays (autism)?
  • Is non biased in cases of children in low SES areas
  • Based on developmental milestones and research
  • Includes additional supplemental assessments for accuracy (caregivers)?
  • Detailed
  • Aligned with IDEA legislation?
  • Norms/questions based on 2000 U.S. Census figures for children birth through 6 years. The new norms are based on a larger, more diverse sample of approximately 1,500 children, including children with disabilities 13.2% (autism)?
pls 4 cons
PLS-4 Cons
  • The test is “standardized”
  • Do we need IOA for assessment?
  • Is not directed toward children 7 and older
  • Spanish is only language used
  • Recommended to be implemented by SLPs
  • Based on US Census 2000 results
  • Does not meet guidelines? Young,Hoffman & Ameer (2004)
pls 4 cons9
PLS-4 Cons
  • Young,Hoffman & Ameer (2004) suggest that:
  • the PLS-4 does not meet guidelines to accurately diagnose a disorder
  • the PLS-4 revision from PLS-3 was made only to meet assessment standards
pls 4 supporting research
PLS-4 Supporting Research
  • The development of the PLS-4 was based on:
  • developmental milestones and current trends in developmental theories
  • survey of clinicians who had used the PLS-3 for suggested modifications
  • a list of new tasks tested and modified from tests results/data collected from 661 children from 46 US states
  • task items and scoring rules were concluded to be sensitive to the US population according to the 2000 Census and a dialect committee
pls 4 supporting research12
PLS-4 Supporting Research
  • Zimmerman,Castilleja (2005) Mental retardation and developmental disabilities research review
  • Zimmerman,Steiner,Pond (2004) PsychCorp (authors)
  • Both state that test is effective and based on “extensive reliability and validity”
pls 4 individualized
PLS-4 Individualized
  • Spanish Version
  • Separate assessment areas for younger and older children
  • Provided case study example (task analysis, developmental checklist,varying age levels, determined mastered and where help is needed)
pls 4 modifications
PLS-4 Modifications
  • A revision based on more recent population results with higher special population or in 2010
  • An edition geared toward other languages
  • A scientific study focusing on the effectiveness in assessing children with ASDs
  • A description of how IDEA regulations are met
pls 4 conclusion
PLS-4 Conclusion
  • Although standardized, the PLS-4 seems to be an adequate assessment of language but may not be suitable for children with autism
  • Is a Curriculum-Based Measurement
  • More research
  • Improvement from the PLS-3 for varied ethnic and SES groups
  • Based on developmental milestones to help professionals plan their individualized program
  • Can be helpful when starting individual portfolio
  • Based on IDEA regulations?
  • Ameer, J.,Hoffman, L., Young, J. (2004)

Teachers College, Columbia University

PLS-4: A real change or just more of the same?

  • Zimmerman, I.L., Steiner, V., Pond, R. E. (2004) PsychCorp.
  • Zimmerman, I.L., Castilleja, N.F. (2005).The role of a language scale for infant and preschool assessment. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Review,11 (3),238-246.
  • The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III)
    • Developed by Lloyd and Leota Dunn
      • 1959
      • 3 previous editions have been revised to create the PPVT-IV
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III)
    • Individually administered
    • Norm-referenced
    • Measures listening comprehension for spoken words in standard English
    • Screening test of verbal ability beginning at age 2.5
  • Provides all professionals working with a student a “valid, reliable, norm-referenced measure of receptive vocabulary”
  • Tests students in vocabulary acquisition
    • Demonstrates child’s linguistic skills as well as cognitive development
  • Screens for both giftedness and mental retardation
  • Measures English proficiency
    • For individuals who don’t speak English as their primary language
  • Detects language impairments
  • Tests for some visual disabilities
  • Used in research studies
  • Item types
  • 20 content categories
    • Split into verbs, nouns, and adjectives
  • Items are presented as a four-item multiple choice
    • 4 simple black and white pictures
    • Student selects the most appropriate picture that illustrates the definition of the word orally presented by the instructor
  • Sets are progressively difficult
  • Training items A & B
    • For students aged 2-6 through 7-11
    • Before testing, the student must be able to respond independently to at least 2 training words
      • Noun (I.e. ball, dog, etc.)
      • Verb (I.e. crying, sleeping, etc.)
    • Can be taught during training, before going ahead with the assessment
  • Training items A & B
  • Training items C & D
    • For students aged 8 years or older
    • Similar procedure to A & B
      • Receptively identifies the number associated with each picture
      • Nouns (I.e. parrot, flower, etc.)
      • Verbs (I.e. mowing the lawn, riding a bike)
  • Training items C & D
  • As test continues, items get more difficult…
  • Age 9, 10
  • Final set
pros cons
Pros & cons
  • Pros
    • PPVT-III is “the leading measure of receptive vocabulary for standard English and a screening test of verbal ability.”
      • Test de Vocabulario en Imagenes Peabody is the assessment in Spanish
pros cons32
Pros & cons
  • Pros
    • Individually administered
    • Norm-referenced
    • Applicable for age 2+
    • Untimed, quick administration
      • Usually 10-15 minutes
    • No reading, writing, or speaking required
pros cons33
Pros & cons
  • Pros
    • Developed in compliance with the Standards of Educational and Psychological Testing
      • Published jointly by:
      • American Educational Research Association
      • American Psychological Association
      • National Council on Measurement in Education
  • There is an abundance of research supporting its use
pros cons34
Pros & cons
  • Supplemented by Technical References book
    • Development of each edition
    • Process used to minimize bias
    • How standardized
    • Validity information
    • Research
  • Can be used for training, analysis, and research
pros cons35
Pros & cons
  • Cons
    • Cost
      • Supplemental materials cost more money
      • Expressive test (EVT) must be purchased separately
    • Some items are ambiguous even for professionals
  • Example
    • Item for age 5
  • Items
    • 204 stimulus words in all
    • 17 sets of 12 words each
      • However, each is a set of 4 nouns, verbs, and adjectives
        • Each set only contains 4 items
  • Untimed
    • Gives everyone an equal chance to respond to known words
  • Examinees
    • Items can be answered
      • Expressively
        • By naming item
        • By stating number of item
        • By saying “yes” or “no”
      • Receptively
        • By pointing to the item
        • By pointing to the number of the iteM
      • Gesturally
        • Nodding “yes” or “no” as instructor points to item
          • 50% chance of guessing correctly
  • There is an abundance of research supporting the use of the PPVT-III
    • 231 articles are cited in the technical references manual
    • Clingman & Fowler, 1976
  • The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test is:
    • Proven
    • Valid
    • Reliable
    • Comprehensive
    • Effective