Early screening for language problems is a priority given the importance of language for success in school and interpersonal relationships. The paucity of reliable behavioral instruments for this age group prompted the development of a new touchscreen language screener for 2-year-olds that relies on language comprehension. Developmental literature guided selection of age-appropriate markers of language disorder risk that are culturally and dialectally neutral and could be reliably assessed. Items extend beyond products of linguistic knowledge (vocabulary and syntax) and tap the process by which children learn language, also known as fast mapping. After piloting an extensive set of items (139), two phases of testing with over 500 children aged 2; 0–2; 11 were conducted to choose the final 40-item set. Rasch analysis was used to select the best fitting and least redundant items. Norms were created based on 270 children. Sufficient test-retest reliability, Cronbach's alpha, and convergent validity with the MB-CDI and PPVT are reported. This quick behavioral measure of language capabilities could support research studies and facilitate the early detection of language problems.
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Jackson, Emily; Levine, Dani; de Villiers, Jill; Iglesias, Aquiles; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; and Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick, "Assessing the Language of 2-year-olds: From Theory to Practice" (2023). Philosophy: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.