Standardized tests are often developed in a university setting using hundreds
of participants. At the conclusion of testing, the speech-language pathologist
is able to compute a score based on the performance of the individual. Each
score is compared to the group of participants initially tested. Standardized tests
often have pictures and require the individual to point to the “correct one,” or
the person may be instructed to follow simple or complex directions. !ese
tests measure how well one recognizes and comprehends spoken and written
Expressive language is the ability to speak and use written language to
express oneself. !e expressive language portion of the standardized assessment
documents a person’s ability to produce words and construct phrases or sentences
while speaking or writing. It also includes the ways in which individuals use
nouns, verbs, tenses, phrases, sentences, and simple grammar.
Informal testing is an observation of social interaction and communication
between two or more people. We are watching and listening for the sounds of
speech, voice quality and loudness, the rate of speech, word usage, vocabulary,
comprehension, mannerisms, and attending behaviors.
Language samples are the tools that speech-language pathologists (SLP) use to
document what is spoken. !e SLP records the grammar, syntax, or word order
of the individual’s speech. !is requires transcription, or the ability to write down
everything an individual says. !is is subsequently analyzed to determine how
well one uses the “rules” of the language. Language sample analysis tools may vary
from a pen and a legal pad to newer ways of analysis through the use of computer
technology, speech recognition software, and language sample analysis software
(Parrot Software, SALT Software, etc.).