The Receptive Language Assessment from the The Speech and Language Store is a great way to modernise boring assessment tools.

The Receptive Language Assessment allows you to assess a variety of word and sentence types. There are   four different levels of complexity:

1 main word – object nouns, person nouns, location nouns, verbs, prepositions, size adjectives, color adjectives and attribute adjectives
2 main words – seven different sentence types e.g. object-person, adjective-object etc
3 main words – seven different sentence types, e.g. adjective-object-location, person-action-location etc
4 main words – seven different sentence types, e.g. object-preposition-adjective-location, person-action-preposition-location

The gear icon on the home page allows you to select a number of different options:

  • Splingo’s celebrations
  • Spoken instructions on/off
  • American English accent
  • British English accent
  • Written instructions on/off

receptive language setting

The information icon takes you to a clear instruction guide on how to use the receptive language assessment.

Multiple student profiles can be created within the app and you have the option to use a photo of the student in the profile if you want to.

The app automatically calculates the chronological age of the child.

There is a demonstration to assist the child  so that he/she can become accustomed to the drag and drop, and the arrow features of the app.

The assessment can be started at any level that you choose, and continues through the items until you decide to stop.

You then have the option to:

  1. Save and Resume the assessment at a later stage
  2. Complete the assessment and generate a report
  3. Pause and resume the assessment

Pause assessment

The report that is generated shows the target sentence and the student response. This allows you to do a more detailed error analysis.

Receptive Language report

What I would like:

The demo does not include voice. Unfamiliar accent can  impact on  children’s language comprehension (Harte, Oliveira, Frizelle, & Gibbon 2016). Therefore, this is an important aspect of getting used to the app.

I would like the option to view all the test items in the level, and pre-select the items to assess. Sometimes there is only one opportunity to assess the child, and it can become quite long and tedious if one has to work through each item on the level.

Similarly, it would also be useful to know when you have completed a level and you are moving to the next level.

I would like the option to prevent the child from responding until the instruction has been completed so that impulsivity is minimized.

It is quite difficult to determine possessive, particularly when there are a lot of items on the page. It would be useful to have a grid or lines that separate objects so that possession is depicted more clearly.

Level 1 requires the student to select one item from a choice of 2. It would be useful to evaluate the student’s ability to select one item from a choice of four or five as this would be expected from a child at approximately 12 months.

What I like:

I really like the portability of being able to use an app for an assessment. Assessments for young children cannot always be conducted at the table, and using an app allows you to sit on the floor at the child’s level to conduct the assessment.

The app allows you to pause the assessment at any stage and resume testing from where you left off. This allows you to obtain the information over a number of sessions if necessary.

I really like the animations that are used to show the verbs.

The feature-matching checklist below, allows you to identify the features that can be found in this app.

This checklist was developed from my (unpublished) research on the use of apps by speech-language pathologists. The checklist contains the features that SLPs deem as important in an app. 

Feature Matching Checklist Speech-Language Apps

ThemeChild Friendly Theme with familiar charactersx
ScreenClean interface no additional pictures/words on screenx
Some additional pictures/words on the screen
Many additional pictures/words on the screen
Ability to remove screen elementsx
InteractivityAllows for interactivity with images on screen
Some interactivity with images on screen
Touch/drag with images on screenx
Colour illustration
Developmental LevelsMore than 3 levelsx
2 – 3 levels
Only 1 level
Examples per levelMore than 20 examplesx
11 -20 examples
Less than 10 examples
Activity SelectionAllows user to select specific activity or itemsx
RepetitionTarget can be repeated x
PaceItems can be skipped within the appx
App can be paused at any stagex
Record FeatureAvailablex
Error ResponseImmediateNA
Option to try againNA
Visual display e.g. cross or tickNA
Sound reflects incorrect responseNA
Reduce level of difficultyNA
Corrective audio feedbackNA
VoiceChild voice
Adult voicex
Accent choicex
RewardChoice of gamesx
One gamex
Star chart/token rewardx
CustomisationUser profilesx
Text on/offx
Background noise on/off
Sounds on/offx
Error response can be adjusted
DataSave Progressx
Report generationx
ContentDescription refers to EBP in the development of content & techniquesx
Description refers to EBP in developmentx
No reference to EBP
Created by Nikki Heyman B.A.(Sp & H Therapy) WITS; Rem Ed RAU; M.A (Speech Pathology) WITS

Receptive language assessment is available in the App Store for $24.99  

It is the perfect tool to use to evaluate students at the start of the school year.

Thank you to The Speech and Language Store for providing me with a copy for review.

All opinions are my own.

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