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Clinical Forum Assessing the comprehension and production of language in young children: an account of the Reynell Developmental Language Scales III

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carolyn Letts


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The Reynell Developmental Language Scales were first made available in an experimental version in 1969, with revisions in 1977 and 1985 (Reynell 1977, Reynell and Huntley 1985). Throughout this period and beyond, the Scales were amongst the most popular child language assessment tools to be used in the UK. There are a number of reasons for this: they were considered to be clinically practical in that even very young children readily co-operated with the test procedures, the Scales measured both comprehension and production of language, and they were standardized on a large sample of British children. In terms of standardized testing, there were no serious UK contenders. However, in recent years, it became clear that some revisions were needed, especially for the Expressive Scale, which had come to be used far less often than the Comprehension Scale. The Expressive Scale was difficult to administer objectively and yielded uninformative results. In a recent volume devoted to assessment procedures used by speech and language therapists (Beech et al. 1993), although the Comprehension Scale is referred to (Lees 1993), there is no mention of the Expressive Scale. In addition, some items and materials used in both scales had become dated and were no longer considered appropriate. A revision was clearly required. This paper describes the new scales, the Reynell Developmental Language Scales III: The University of Reading Edition (RDLS III: Edwards et al . 1997). The new Scales were constructed to reflect current knowledge of language impairment and to incorporate findings from up-to-date research on structural and lexical development in child language. As a result, the existing Expressive Scale has been completely revised and substantial changes have been made to the Comprehension Scale.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Letts CA, Edwards S, Garman M, Hughes A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders

Year: 1999

Volume: 34

Issue: 2

Pages: 151-171

ISSN (print): 1368-2822

ISSN (electronic): 1460-6984

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/136828299247487


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