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ERIC Number: EJ939557
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0265-6590
An Examination of the Relationship of Sample Size and Mean Length of Utterance for Children with Developmental Language Impairment
Casby, Michael W.
Child Language Teaching and Therapy, v27 n3 p286-293 Oct 2011
Mean length of utterance (MLU) is a frequently used measure of the expressive language of young children. The suggested conventional, contemporary, clinical practice is to calculate it from a language sample of a minimum of 50 to 100 contiguous intelligible utterances. This practice places considerable strain on professionals working with young children with language disorders, for it is often impractical to devote the time needed to collect, transcribe, and analyse the recommended number of utterances. This research investigated the consistency of MLU calculated across language samples of different sizes for the same children. Transcripts of expressive language samples of research participants with developmental language impairment were analysed, with MLU being calculated on samples of varying sizes. The language samples ranged from 10 to 150 utterances. Measures of statistical differences and consistency of MLU across the various language samples were examined. Results demonstrate that, on the whole, one can reliably and efficiently determine MLU on much smaller language samples than that typically recommended, although, not surprisingly, there may be notable individual differences attesting to the vicissitudes of MLU. (Contains 3 tables, 1 note and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A