Elementary School, Freebies, Language, Materials, Musings, Therapy Ideas

Language Sample Analysis in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Krista says:

    This is an awesome idea! Definitely a time saver! Thank you!

  2. Ann Welker says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been using Microsoft Word for language sampling but didn’t know there was a word count feature. Also, your checklist is just what I’ve been looking for, quick to use but also comprehensive.

  3. Amy says:

    So simple, but never thought to use it and will save major time! Thanks!

  4. Mrs T says:

    Thanks for this tip. I am a google docs user, and you prompted me to check and see if google docs has a similar feature. Yes, it does!

    Thanks for the checklist also!

  5. AbbyG says:

    Great idea to use Word to quickly measure MLU! And this checklist helps me ensure that I include everything on my analysis. I just used it today for a 3-year-old I am evaluating. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Schoolhouse Talk

  6. Robin says:

    Love it. I don’t have the Word software so I am trying it with Pages. Seems to work in a similar way. Thank you. 😀

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Language samples provide so much information and are, unfortunately, often overlooked. Thanks for your time saving hints. I just purchased SALT (Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts) software and am loving it. I use it with my K through 12 students. It is so helpful.

  8. Nancy Runyon says:

    Hi, I have been on a search for updated predicted MLU norms with standard deviations so that I can calculate the standard deviations from the mean on my language samples. Do you have anything you use?

  9. LALA says:

    Can you include how to calculate the SD for each age?

  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to make this post. You are very gifted, and I’m amazed at how you made something complex seem simple.

  11. Mariam says:

    Hi. Thank you so much.
    In non verbal children, uteering may be a few single words. How can we calculate MLU-w?

    • Shannon says:

      For those children, a MLU-w measurement isn’t really informative, or really even appropriate. You would calculate it the same way, with the MLU-w being 1 if the children are truly only communicating with one word, or you could just informally say that the child speaks in single words. At any rate, MLU-w is merely an indicator that there could be a language impairment. The single word level (or MLU-w of 1) would only be appropriate for a 12-26 month old child.

      For non-speaking children, I find it more useful to report on communication intents and functions (are they only requesting? labelling?), as well as parts of speech being used (are they only talking nouns? Do we hear any adjectives? verbs?)

  12. Lisa says:

    I have a question about the MLU chart. Is it possible that the headers are reversed for the MLU norms: i.e., the “MLU In Words” and “MLU in Morphemes” columns? I am looking at the publication and think that the numbers are different. I am trying to make a chart for myself and don’t feel confident with this — which is why I want to thank you for this article, it was extremely helpful!

    • Shannon says:

      Yes! Good catch! I’m fixing it ASAP. Thanks!

      • Lauren says:

        I was wondering if the headers have been corrected yet. I had just copy and pasted the image when I saw the comment about it being switched. Thanks!

        • Shannon says:

          Yes I updated the headers! When in doubt, MLU in morphemes will always be higher than MLU in words. Thanks for checking!

  13. Kate says:

    I am confused. You are counting the words, but I believe you are supposed to count the morphemes. Am I forgetting something? I haven’t done this in a while so it’s possible.

    • Shannon says:

      You can count words or morphemes, it just depends on what you are trying to find out! If you want to have a quick measure of words per utterance, you can just count words. If you are trying to get an idea of the level of complexity of the language sample, you would want to count morphemes – if the morpheme count is basically the same as the word count, your student isn’t using morphemes.
      The most important thing is that if you are using any charts for comparison, you are comparing words to words and morphemes to morphemes. Some research will use MLU in words and some will use MLU in morphemes and some will use both! Brown’s morphemes chart uses MLU in morphemes, or sometimes written as MLUm, so if you’re using that as a reference, you’ll need to count morphemes.
      Hopefully that’s a little clearer!

      • Shannon says:

        And, just to clear it up further, when I’m doing a language sample, I put a space between morphemes so the word and the morpheme are each counted by the program. So if my student says “I playing,” (2 words) I would type out “I play ing” which is counted as 3 in the word count of the program.
        Thanks for asking!

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