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Latest Blog Posts

  • Is language sample analysis an informal or formal assessment?

    Jan 17 2022
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    When including language sample analysis as part of a comprehensive evaluation to report language skills across settings and contexts, I always used to format my diagnostic reports with the following headings: “Observations and Parent/Teacher Report,” “Standardized Testing,” “Informal Assessments,” and of course, “Conclusions.” Usually, I included my data on language sample analysis under the “...

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  • Research: Unexpected Uses for Language Samples

    Dec 01 2021
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    From toddlers with cochlear implants to adults with primary progressive aphasia (and everything in between), SALT has been part of researching people’s spoken language. Oh, and apes’ too! One of my great joys is consulting with researchers from Communication Sciences and Disorders, Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Ed Psych and more and finding out their research interests to determine how...

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  • SALT Research: the Rectangular Data File

    Oct 21 2021
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    “The RDF tool has helped my research immensely. I can quickly generate pilot data from a dozen samples or efficiently compile data from hundreds of samples at the end of the project. The tool exports data in spreadsheets compatible with the main software tools that I use, so I never have to worry about compatibility or converting to different formats.”   John Heilmann, Ph.D.,  Univer...

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  • Dynamic Language Assessment: When You Need More Than Standardized Tests

    Sep 21 2021
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    ASHA has a great article on dynamic assessment which gives a clear definition of dynamic assessment:  “Dynamic assessment (DA) is a method of conducting a language assessment which seeks to identify the skills that an individual child possesses as well as their learning potential. The dynamic assessment procedure emphasizes the learning process and accounts for the amount and nature of exa...

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  • Language Sample Analysis for Adult Neurogenic Populations

    Aug 18 2021
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    Last month we talked about SALT and language sample analysis (LSA) for very young children. Typically, we think of language sample analysis as a tool for evaluating children. The truth is, language sample analysis should be a part of every evaluation where we are targeting expressive language skills, adults included! What is more functional for speech language rehab than being able to have a co...

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  • SALT for Preschoolers

    Jul 10 2021
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    Did you know that SALT is a great tool to use when assessing very young children?  Many users think of SALT as a tool for school-aged children. While SALT does offer several databases for school-aged children, language sample analysis should also be in every clinician’s toolbox when assessing the very young and preschool-aged children as well!  Taking a language sample with very young chi...

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  • The Awkward Pause

    Jun 02 2021
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    Should I include pauses in my transcript? The Awkward Pause! We’ve all been there. Maybe the awkward pause was during a casual conversation with a friend, or when you were talking to someone new at a party and ran out of interesting things to say. Pragmatically, we feel compelled to fill that pause with something! Part of learning to take great language samples is overcoming our fear of the aw...

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  • Language Samples and Dialect

    Apr 20 2021
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      Background The way we talk is a window into who we are, where we came from, and how others perceive us. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) the locals thought I had an accent. Some vocabulary words are different in the PNW. I had one student tell me about going out on his quad and I had no idea what he was talking about. In the Midwest, where I am from, a “quad” is called a “fo...

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  • Mazes and Abandoned Utterances: Why They Matter

    Feb 26 2021
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    You may have noticed that some methods of language sample analysis ask you to include mazes in transcription, while others do not. SALT does ask you to include mazes. Have you ever wondered why? Perhaps you had the sneaking suspicion that, if some protocols exclude mazes, they can’t really be that important. And, after all, including them makes transcription longer and more complex, so there ha...

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  • A Bit of Evidence for Sampling Narrative Language in AAE Speakers

    Feb 02 2021
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    Dear Clinical Colleagues, I hope this finds you relatively safe and sane. Language sample analysis may be a challenge to your limited time and resources. Don’t you wish you COULD fit language sampling into your busy schedule? After all, language sampling is part of the “gold standard” for assessing language in monolingual  and bilingual children. After you collect a language sample, you ca...

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