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ERIC Number: EJ1152180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Identifying the Dimensionality of Oral Language Skills of Children with Typical Development in Preschool through Fifth Grade
Lonigan, Christopher J.; Milburn, Trelani F.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n8 p2185-2198 Aug 2017
Purpose: Language is a multidimensional construct from prior to the beginning of formal schooling to near the end of elementary school. The primary goals of this study were to identify the dimensionality of language and to determine whether this dimensionality was consistent in children with typical language development from preschool through 5th grade. Method: In a large sample of 1,895 children, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted with 19-20 measures of language intended to represent 6 factors, including domains of vocabulary and syntax/grammar across modalities of expressive and receptive language, listening comprehension, and vocabulary depth. Results: A 2-factor model with separate, highly correlated vocabulary and syntax factors provided the best fit to the data, and this model of language dimensionality was consistent from preschool through 5th grade. Conclusion: This study found that there are fewer dimensions than are often suggested or represented by the myriad subtests in commonly used standardized tests of language. The identified 2-dimensional (vocabulary and syntax) model of language has significant implications for the conceptualization and measurement of the language skills of children in the age range from preschool to 5th grade, including the study of typical and atypical language development, the study of the developmental and educational influences of language, and classification and intervention in clinical practice.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305F100027