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PLS–5 is an individually administered test used to identify

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Shawn Hardee

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of PLS–5 is an individually administered test used to identify

Behavior(s) Sampled
The Auditory Comprehension (AC) scale is used to evaluate the scope of a child’s comprehension of language. The Expressive Communication (EC) scale is used to determine how well a child communicates with others. The Language Sample Checklist provides an overview of the content, structure, and use of a child’s spontaneous utterances. The Articulation Screener can be used to determine if further articulation testing is needed. The Home Communication Questionnaire can be used to obtain information about a child’s communication strengths and areas of concern prior to assessment and be used help develop the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

PLS–5 standardization research involved a normative sample of 1,400 children from January 2010 through September 2010. The normative sample was stratified on the basis of age, sex, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and primary caregiver’s education level based on the national figures for the U.S. Census. One-hundred eighty-nine examiners in 42 states participated in the study and included speech-language pathologists who were state licensed and/or ASHA certified, psychologists, and educational diagnosticians.
Administration Time
Administration time varies depending on the child’s age, ability, and his or her cooperation during the test.

Birth through 11 months 25–35 minutes
12 months through 2 years 11 months 45–55 minutes
3 years through 4 years 11 months 50–60 minutes
5 years through 7 years 11 months 40–50 minutes

PLS–5 is an individually administered test used to identify
a language delay or disorder for use with children from birth through 7 years 11 months of age.

PLS–5 can be used to help
• determine if a child has a language delay or disorder;
• determine if a child has primarily a receptive or expressive language delay/disorder, or a
delay/disorder that involves both;
• determine eligibility for early intervention or speech and language services;
• identify receptive and expressive language skills in the areas of attention, gesture, play,
vocal development, social communication, vocabulary, concepts, language structure,
integrative language, and emergent literacy;
• identify a child’s language strengths and weaknesses so that appropriate interventions can
be provided

Scores Obtained
PLS–5 uses norm-referenced scores (standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents) and Growth Scale Values for the Auditory Comprehension and Expressive Communication scales. Criterion scores are reported for the Articulation Screener .

Other assessments are permitted for use with this test, including:
portfolio submissions
observational behaviors
interview transcripts
parent/guardian testimony
Reliability (and stability)
Test Retest
• The PLS–5 test-retest stability was calculated with data collected on 195 children selected from the normative sample.
• The test-retest stability was estimated using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient which correlates the performance on two tests taken by the same child with an average of 7 days in between tests)
• The average corrected stability coefficients range from .86 to .95 for the different age ranges, indicating that PLS–5 scores possess good to excellent stability across time.

Reliability (and stability) cont.
Evidence of Internal Consistency
• The internal consistency of the PLS–5 AC and EC scales was examined using the split-half method (which is the correlation between one test split into two equal halves. The performance between the items on these two “half tests” is compared.
• Split-half reliability coefficients for the AC scale range from.80 to .97, by age, with .91 for the total normative sample which is considered excellent for the total score.
• Internal consistency reliability coefficients of AC and EC scales and Total Language score was also calculated for the clinical samples

Evidence of Interrater and Interscorer Reliability
• Two paired examiners from a pool of 25 were present during the same test session. The first examiner administered PLS–5 to the child and recorded and scored the child’s responses; the second examiner observed the testing and recorded and scored the child’s responses. The two sets of scores were compared, and interrater reliability coefficients were calculated as the correlations of the obtained standard scores between the two examiners.
• Five scorers were trained in applying the rules and scored specific items that examiners scored during test administration, If a high level of interscorer reliability for an item was demonstrated (i.e., greater than 95% agreement between the examiner and a trained scorer), the item was no longer scored by both the examiner and a scorer. Items that did not meet a 95% agreement rate continued to be scored by the examiner and rescored by a scorer.

Reliability (and stability) cont.
Evidence of Validity
Content Validity –
• Evidence of validity based on the PLS–5 content was gathered in numerous ways, including literature review, users’ feedback, and expert review and suggestions about the language areas and skills that the test should address, and the breadth and appropriateness of the item/subitem coverage and item/subitem formats .

Evidence of Validity (cont.)
Evidence based on Relationship to other measures –
• A study of the relationship between PLS–5 and PLS–4 was conducted The adjusted correlations between PLS–5 and PLS–4 are .80 (Auditory Comprehension) .80 (Expressive Communication) and .85 (Total Language) indicating a high correlation between the two tests. (Meaning when a child performed well on PLS–5, he or she performed well on PLS–4 and vice versa).
• CELF Preschool 2 correlations are moderate to high, ranging from .70 to .82.

Evidence of Validity (cont.)
Evidence Based on Special Groups
• evaluates the language performances of children previously diagnosed with language disorder, developmental delay, and ASD and provides evidence that the test discriminates between typically developing children and those diagnosed with these disorders

PLS–5 can be administered, scored, and interpreted by speech-language pathologists, early childhood specialists, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, and other professionals who have experience working with children of this age and training in individual assessment. Paraprofessional staff can be trained to administer PLS–5 test items and record the child’s responses; however, the scoring of the responses and the interpretation of the resulting scores should only be done by a clinician who has training and experience in diagnostic assessment

The high reliability and variance of testing supplements allowed makes this a highly developmentally-appropriate test. The PLS-5 testing manual encourages the substitution of toys and mechanisms to suit a child's comfort. The manual also includes referencing for test changes based upon pre-existing conditions or the child's needs and comfort. PLS-5 recommends tools and items that are universally understood or familiar to a child's background to prevent bias in testing results. The test is updated to identify possible differences in language understanding based upon ethnic/cultural, gender, regional, and socioeconomic bis.
Critiques (cont.)
Having tested this in an actual scenario, it can be confirmed that the review is correct on the time limitations of the test. The test child (age 3) was unable to finish the PLS-5 in one sitting. However, the manual accounts for this potential pitfall as well, providing subtractions that can be made for ADHD-diagnosed or other children unable to complete the exam's many steps. Overall, it was found to be a very comprehensive and accurate test of language development.
Critiques (External Review)
As the test is fairly new, it has proven difficult to find reviews. Nevertheless, those discovered have been positive, in favor of the use of PLS-5. The test, however, though comprehensive and reliable, has been implied to be difficult to administer. One such review claims that one feels "clumsy" giving the PLS-5 as it covers many subtopics within two broad categories, and often feels unsynchronized and time-consuming. The test itself receives praise in scoring and validity; it's simply a matter of covering large quantities of content in a lengthy and complex format.
Effectively, the PLS-5 is reliable, accurate, and comprehensive in measuring for language delays and disorders. The manual includes modifications based on region/ethnicity, socioeconomic, upbringing, language, gender, and other differences a child may have. It has received mostly positive reviews, with the only negatives being length and complexity in administration.
E Jasper. (2013, Jan. 24). PLS-5 [Just a Speechie]. Retrieved from http://justanotherspeechie.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/pls-5/
Shawn Hardee & Brigitte Powers
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