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Language Sample Analysis
Please visit these websites for more information about the instrument: SALT and CHAT.
Supplemental: Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Short Description of Instrument
Language Sample Analysis is a method of evaluating language production in children. Language samples can be collected regularly to monitor progress and may be taken in different settings (e.g.,  school, home,  clinic). Transcription software programs such as Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) or Child Language Data Exchange System (CHAT) may be used.
Comments/Special Instructions
Language sampling is most commonly used in children of preschool age but can be used through high school.
In order to elicit a good language sample, the examiner should have experience talking with children. Conversations are recorded and transcribed. Samples can be analyzed by a software program and scored and interpreted by qualified personnel. Administration time is approximately 1 hour.
Language sample can be analyzed by dependency analysis, which includes measures for dysfluency (the ratio of false starts, internal corrections, and additional dysfluencies to the total number of explicit propositions) and listener burden (number of implicit propositions divided  by number of  explicit propositions).
"Language sample analysis has been found to discriminate between children and adolescents with versus without TBI in several studies. Content validity is high, as samples are taken with relevant partners (e.g., parents). Language samples often are more sensitive to group differences than are standard language measures." – McCauley et al. 2012
Miller J & Chapman J. (2004). The SALT Guide (Standard Version 8 ed.). Language Analysis Laboratory, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin: Madison, WI.
MacWhinney, B. (2000). The CHILDES Project: Tools for Analyzing Talk. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ.
MacWhinney B, Snow C. The Child Language Data Exchange System: an update. J Child Lang. 1990;17(2):457-472.
Additional References:
Biddle K, McCabe A, Bliss L. Narrative skills following traumatic brain injury in children and adults. J Commun Disord. 1996;29:447-469.
Brookshire B, Levin H, Song J, Zhang L. Components of executive function in typically developing and head-injured children. Dev Neuropsychol. 2004;25(1-2):61-83.
Campbell T & Dollaghan C. Expressive language recovery in severely brain-injured children and adolescents. J Speech Hear Disord. 1990;55:567-581.
Campbell T, & Dollaghan C. (1994). Phonological and speech production characteristics of children following TBI: Principles underlying asessment and treatment. Thieme: St Louis, MO.
Campbell T, & Dollaghan C. Speaking rate, articulatory speed, and linguistic processing in children and adolescents with severe traumatic brain injury. J Speech Hear Res 1995;38:864
Campbell T, Dollaghan C, Janosky J. (2009). Understanding speech-sound change in young children following severe traumatic brain injury. Plural Publishing: San Diego.
Chapman SB, Culhane KA, Levin HS, Harward H, Mendelsohn D, Ewing-Cobbs L, Fletcher JM, Bruce D. Narrative discourse after closed head injury in children and adolescents. Brain Lang. 1992;43(1):42-65.
Chapman S, Gamino J, Cook L, Hanten G, Li X, Levin H. Impaired discourse gist and working memory in children after brain injury. Brain Lang. 2006;97(2):178-188.
Chapman S, Levin H, Wanek A, Weyauch J, Kufera J. Discourse after closed head injury in young children. Brain Lang.1998; 61(3):395-419.
Chapman SB, Sparks G, Levin HS, Dennis M, Roncadin C, Zhang L, Song J. Discourse macrolevel processing after severe pediatric traumatic brain injury. Dev Neuropsychol. 2004;25(1-2):37-60.
Coelho C, Ylvisaker M, Turkstra L. Nonstandardized assessment approaches for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. Semin Speech Lang. 2005;26(4), 223-241.
Dennis M, Jacennik B, Barnes, M. The content of narrative discourse in children and adolescents after early-onset hydrocephalus and in normally developing age peers. Brain Lang. 1994;46:129-165.
Ewing-Cobbs L & Barnes M. Linguistic outcomes following traumatic brain injury in children. Sem Ped Neurol. 2002;9(3):209-217.
Ewing-Cobbs L, Brookshire B, Scott M, Fletcher J. Children's narratives following traumatic brain injury: linguistic structure, cohesion and thematic recall. Brain Lang. 1998;61(3):395-419.
McCauley SR, Wilde EA, Anderson VA, Bedell G, Beers SR, Campbell TF, Chapman SB, Ewing-Cobbs L, Gerring JP, Gioia GA, Levin HS, Michaud LJ, Prasad MR, Swaine BR, Turkstra LS, Wade SL, Yeates KO. Recommendations for the use of common outcome measures in pediatric traumatic brain injury research. J Neurotrauma. 2012;29(4):678-705.
Wilson B & Proctor A. Written discourse of adolescents with closed head injury. Brain Inj. 2002;16(11):1011-1024.
Youse K, & Coelho C. Working memory and discourse production abilities following closed-head injury. Brain Inj. 2005;9(12):1001-1009.  


Document last updated March 2018