Dynamic assessment of narratives among navajo preschoolers

Davis E. Henderson, Maria Adelaida Restrepo, Leona S. Aiken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined whether the Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL), a dynamic assessment of narratives that measures language comprehension and production, accurately classifies Navajo preschoolers with typically developing (TD) language or with language impairment (LI). Method: Ninety 4-and 5-year-old Navajo preschoolers were identified as having LI or are TD (n = 45 each) via a 5-measure battery: parent report, teacher report, English narrative, independent educational plan, and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental Preschool–Second Edition (Wiig, Secord, & Semel, 2004). Children completed a PEARL pretest, a narrative mediation phase providing principles of narrative structure, and a PEARL posttest. A modifiability score reflected responsiveness to mediation. Results: The PEARL pretest and posttest each distinguished children with LI versus TD children with 89% accuracy; modifiability scores identified children with 100% accuracy. The PEARL story grammar subtest at pretest and posttest best distinguished LI versus TD. A revised cutoff score on the PEARL pretest decreased the diagnosis of TD children as having LI; the standard PEARL posttest cutoff was retained. Conclusion: The PEARL is a promising assessment for accurately differentiating Navajo preschool children with LI from those with TD language, particularly with a revised pretest cutoff score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2547-2560
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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