New Edition of Play-Based Assessment Provides Deeper Insights Into Language Development in Young Children
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New Edition of Play-Based Assessment Provides Deeper Insights Into Language Development in Young Children

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — October 31, 2011 —

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), if a child doesn't talk by age 1, the speech is not clear or if speech or language is different from that of other children of the same age, there may be cause for concern.

Early identification is crucial to effective intervention. Now speech and language clinicians and early childhood educators have an interactive, play-based assessment that will provide them with even deeper insights into language skill development in children from birth to age seven with the launch of the fifth edition of the Preschool Language Scales (PLS-5) from Pearson.

Developed from more than 40 years of research, this update to the PLS reflects the best of current testing practices and aligns with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other state and federal legislation. New items for younger children provide examiners with information about interaction and gestural skills as well as emerging speech which enables clinicians to use the children's current communications skills to build speech and language skills that may be delayed. To engage young learners, the assessment features a number of colorful, plastic manipulatives – including the program's mascot, Mr. Bear.

The PLS-5 is designed for use by the range of professionals serving young children as reflected by its interdisciplinary author team of Irla Lee Zimmerman, Ph.D., clinical psychologist; Violette G. Steiner, early childhood educator, Roberta E. Pond, speech-language pathologist.

"The PLS-5 was developed based on direct feedback from the tens of thousands of clinicians using the assessment with young children," said Carol Watson, president, Pearson's Clinical Assessment business. "They shared with us the challenges that they face serving children with language disorders in today’s changing school and clinical environments and this new edition of our widely renowned language assessment is the result."

PLS-5 also features a two page Home Communication Questionnaire that clinicians can use to obtain information from caregivers who have a child whose language abilities are in the birth through age 2 range. When the caregiver completes the questionnaire before testing, the clinician can then focus on observing naturally-occurring parent-child interactions during the testing session, providing even more insights into the child’s development.

For more information about the PLS-5, visit

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education services, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

For more information:

Adam Gaber, (800) 745-8489, @Apgaber (twitter),