James' Language Assessment

By: Emily Mueller

About James:

  • 4 years old
  • Loves trucks, dinosaurs, and his little brother
  • Attends Jesus Loves Me Learning Center (where I work)
  • Teacher is concerned about his language abilities
  • Assessments showed that James is strong in expressive language, but the receptive language and cognitive tasks may have been difficult


Receptive Language

  • I read James the "Toy Story" and asked him questions about it before and after
  • He answered 1/3 questions before the story and 1/8 questions after the story
  • Ranked as "frustration"
  • May have been distracted

Expressive Language

  • James completed 5 tasks:
  1. Told about a topic he knew a lot about
  2. Gave a memory of a holiday
  3. Explained how to make something
  4. Gave a memory of when he was happy and sad
  5. Told the "Bear and Fly" story

  • MLU of 3.45 (slightly under average of 3.5-5.3)
  • Used negative verb forms, casual conjunctions, embedded gerunds
  • 6+1 speaking rubric indicated he has "developing" language
  • Brown's post-V stage
  • May have been more shy than normal

Cognitive Ability

  • I had James repeat various words, phrases, and sentences after me, and I instructed him to draw a picture of a time he felt happy or sad and to include himself and his name in the picture.
  • He repeated 24/42 words
  • 3 substitutions, 15 deletions, total of 18 errors
  • He completed 1/3 drawing tasks: made "J" for James
  • Getting 70% on repetition task may be considered average
  • I believe he should be able to complete all 3 drawing tasks at the age of 4
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James demonstrated strengths in expressive language, but the cognitive and receptive language tasks were difficult for him. These findings coincide with what his teacher has been reporting, but data may have been skewed due to the fact that he was shy and distracted sometimes.