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ERIC Number: EJ887636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-1461
Clinical Application of the Mean Babbling Level and Syllable Structure Level
Morris, Sherrill R.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v41 n2 p223-230 Apr 2010
Purpose: This clinical exchange reviews two independent phonological assessment measures: mean babbling level (MBL) and syllable structure level (SSL). Both measures summarize phonetic inventory and syllable shape in a calculated average and have been used in research to describe the phonological abilities of children ages 9 to 36 months. An example of the measures' clinical use is presented. Method: Six studies reporting MBL and SSL were reviewed. Combined, the studies included 207 participants. One hundred twenty-eight of those were developing language as expected, and 79 were identified as having speech-language impairment. Conclusion: Overall, the studies indicate that SSL is a reliable measure that increases as children develop. Children with language impairment exhibit lower SSL scores than children with typical language skills. Further, a lower than expected MBL is predictive of a lack of meaningful speech at 24 months of age. Implication: MBL and SSL have clinical application in terms of initial evaluation as well as progress monitoring. Recommendations for standardized corpus inclusion procedures are presented.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A