Areas Covered in a Speech-Language Evaluation Report

Speech-Language Evaluation Report Sample

If your child has an upcoming speech-language evaluation, they may fill out a questionnaire or checklist regarding social skills, language, or articulation. The SLP will then do a formal and informal assessment of your child.

A language evaluation report is a summary of this assessment. The following are some areas that it will likely cover: Receptive language, phonological awareness, and vocabulary.

Receptive Language

Receptive language is how well your child understands what you say. This can be evaluated with a standardized language test that includes following directions, naming pictures, and answering questions.

Typically, receptive language milestones are reached before expressive language milestones. For example, children can understand two-step instructions (“Get your coat, put on your shoes”) by age 2 if they are able to follow simple, repetitive routines.

Often, minimally verbal children with ASD have poor receptive language skills (Gernsbacher et al., 2005). This may be due to limited receptive vocabulary or a lack of receptive language assessment tools. However, there is a subset of minimally verbal children who seem to have good comprehension that goes beyond single words (Vineland receptive communication skill score).

Expressive Language

When children communicate with other people, they need to be able to describe things, ask and answer questions, and express their thoughts and feelings. This type of language is known as expressive language and can be evaluated through a variety of formal and informal assessments.

Some of the formal tests that can be administered include the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation 3 (GFTA-3), an oral articulation survey such as the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals 5th edition (CELF-5), and a spontaneous speech sample for grammatical analysis. Spontaneous speech samples are analyzed by determining whether the child’s speech includes all age-appropriate morphemes and whether their spontaneous grammar is in accordance with the rules of standard American English or in alignment with the rules of their primary dialect.

In addition, the SLP may ask your child to complete a questionnaire that provides a window into how they are interacting with other individuals, including how well they follow social norms and engage in conversation. This information will also be incorporated into the report.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in a word. This skill is required for decoding words and spelling. Children who have poor phonological skills often have difficulty reading and spelling. Early phonological awareness is strongly predictive of later reading achievement.

Informally, a child’s phonological awareness can be evaluated by asking them to name a word that starts with the same sound as another one that is presented orally. They can also be asked to identify rhyming words or segment a word into its individual syllables and name each one with 80% accuracy.

For a more formal assessment, the DIBELS Initial Sound Fluency (ISF) measure is an individually administered phonological awareness screening and progress monitoring tool that assesses a student’s ability to accurately identify and produce an initial sound for orally presented words. This measurement includes a subscale on onsets and rimes as well as an overall measure of phoneme segmentation fluency.


Vocabulary is one of the largest contributors to reading comprehension skills. Studies indicate that children who come from a rich spoken language environment often have better reading comprehension skills than those whose vocabulary is limited.

Teachers often assess a student’s vocabulary by asking students to write definitions of words or by giving them closed-book tests that require the students to recite the definitions of the words they are given. However, these measures tend to be less reliable and valid than a standardized test such as the ITBS or the PPVT-III.

Another way to evaluate a student’s vocabulary is to give students a series of open-ended questions that ask them to use specific words in their answers. This method allows teachers to see how well the students can actually use their vocabularies in real-life situations. It also gives teachers a chance to see if the words they teach are actually being used in their speech and writing.

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