ELICITATION AND TRANSCRIPTION OF A LANGUAGE SAMPLE
When eliciting a language sample from a child, your goal is to collect a
sample that reflects the child’s use
of a wide range of
In order to get a full picture of a child’s language ability, the length of a
language sample should be
complete and intelligible
although at times and for some analyses,
only 50 utterances are used
To elicit a wide variety of language forms from a child, the following guidelines are
Position of Table
Sit so you are at the same height as, or are lower than, the child.
I do this for two reasons.
First, it helps the child not feel
Second, I get a better view of the child’s mouth so I can understand more of his/her language.
Also, if child is
hesitant to talk, look at the toys/materials rather than directly at the child.
This strategy can reduce the child’s anxiety.
Both of these techniques are good for children 6 years and younger.
For children over 6 years, I tend to sit next to the child,
but I don’t worry about height.
Materials you use should depend on the age of the child.
For children under 2 years of age, materials that entice the child to initiate and comment should be chosen.
include: balloon, wind up toy, cheerio in ziplock bag, stacking blocks, baby doll with brush, wordless picture book.
will discuss these materials when we read chapter 2 in class.
For children between 3 and 6 years of age, toys and books that are theme-based should be chosen.
babies with a bottle and blanket, cars and a gas station, people and a house and/or picnic set.
Theme-based toys prompt
children to have a conversation about events familiar to them (taking care of a baby, going to the gas station, eating dinner,
I also include a few pictures and a book to prompt story telling. You were given a book in class to use in your
I often model the story (not read the book) and then ask the child to produce a story.
Children under 4 years do not
tell elaborate stories, so do not feel that you failed if the child labels items in the picture, ignores the picture, or talks about
These are normal behaviors of children under four.
Finally, I ask the child to tell me about a favorite
movie or event.
Again, the length and complexity of the retelling depends a great deal on the age of the child.
Your job is
to use these materials to assess where the child is in development.
Throughout the sample, your job as a speech language
pathologist and/or speech language researcher is to ask: Does the child produce language typical of other children his/her
age, or is his/her language advanced or delayed?
For children older than 6 years of age, you will want to elicit a range of discourse genres, including conversation, personal