Iranian Researchers Create Language Development Scale for Persian-Speaking Children

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 11:05
Children

Researchers of University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences have developed a reliable assessment tool to assess children's receptive and/or expressive language skills.

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According to an ISCA report, one of the researchers, Dr. Reza Nilipour explained that language development during early childhood is the most important phase of cognitive development in children.

Based on the research, a common problem among children is language delay as a result of cognitive impairment, lack of sensory-motor skills, and neurological, emotional, or pervasive developmental disorders; some of unknown etiology. Language delay refers to deficiencies in verbal and non-verbal communications that could distort grammar, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics.

Language disorders may affect receptive and/or expressive language skills. The use of a validated and reliable assessment tool is essential to assess these skills in children. The study aimed to develop a valid and reliable language development instrument for Persian-speaking children aged 2-6 years.

According to the research which its results published in Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences (IJMS), the present cross-sectional study was conducted during 2016-2017 in three main Iranian cities, namely Mashhad, Tehran, and Isfahan. The target population was children between the ages of 2 and 6 in various kindergartens and schools.

The Persian Language Development Scale (PLDS) was developed by incorporating linguistic characteristics of the Persian language and Iranian culture. Following a number of iterations, including a pilot study of 36 children, the final version of the PLDS tool was used to assess the receptive and expressive language skills of 460 children. The reliability and validity of the PLDS tool were examined.

The content validity ratio (CRV) of the PLDS tool was 0.85. The tool could differentiate children by age, but not by sex. The test-retest reliability, with 10 days interval, showed a significant correlation between the coefficients of receptive (0.96) and expressive (0.93) scales. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for receptive and expressive scales was 0.93 and 0.98, respectively. The internal consistency, using the KR-21, for the receptive and expressive scales was 0.88 and 0.92, respectively.

The study has been conducted by Fatemeh Sheibani, PhD, Zahra Sadat Ghoreishi, PhD,Reza Nilipour, PhD, Abbas Pourshahbaz, PhD, and Sakineh Mohammad Zamani, MSc from University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

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