Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals | Fifth Edition


CELF-5 provides clinicians with a streamlined, flexible battery to assess semantics, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics for students ages 5-21. CELF-5 features structured and authentic tests of language ability (including observational and interactive measures) for a complete picture of students' language skills. Guidance on using this test in your telepractice.

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CELF-5 Q-global Scoring Subscription 3 Year (Digital)
QG3CF5 Qualification Level B

Includes unlimited scoring per user within an account




Publication date:
Fall, 2013
Age range:
5:0 –21:11
Core Language Score, Receptive Language, Expressive Language, Language Structure and Language Content standard scores, percentile ranks, growth scale values, and age equivalents.
Qualification level:
Completion time:
30–45 minutes for the Core Language Score. Total assessment: variable.
Verbal response to picture stimuli
Scoring options:
Q-global® Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting; and manual scoring
Guidance on using this test in your telepractice


The Flash drive Kit and individual flash drives have been discontinued. The digital Manuals and Stimulus Book are available on Q-global.


Product Details

The new CELF-5 is a comprehensive battery of 16 standalone tests that provides a streamlined, flexible and interactive approach to language assessment.


  • Comprehensive, with measures that include structured, interactive, and observational/interview-based tasks.
  • Flexible--administer only the tests you need to address referral and clinical concerns
  • Now Available!  Standard scores available for Reading Comprehension, Structured Writing, and the Pragmatics Activities Checklist.
  • Compare written skills to oral language skills.
  • Now available in print and digital editions (on Q-global and Q-interactive)


  • CELF-5 provides highly accurate diagnostic information with current normative data (see Technical Information).
  • Item analysis of performance on individual tests.
  • Automated scoring available in real time on Q-interactive or with item or subtest raw scores entered on Q-global.
  • Digital editions offer 24/7 secure, web-based access on Q-global or Q-interactive, ideal for telepractice and in-person digital test administration.
  • Q-interactive and Q-global provide automated Graphical and narrative reporting data.

Tests included

  • Observational Rating Scale
  • Sentence Comprehension
  • Linguistic Concepts
  • Word Structure
  • Word Classes
  • Following Directions
  • Formulated Sentences
  • Recalling Sentences
  • Understanding Spoken Paragraphs
  • Word Definitions
  • Sentence Assembly
  • Semantic Relationships
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Structured Writing
  • Pragmatics Profile
  • Pragmatics Activities Checklist



Find out how to use this test in your telepractice.

Learn more




CELF-5 on Q-interactive at a Glance:

Available With

  • Standard, Speech, Classroom, & Experiential Licenses

Subtest Pricing

Scoring and Reporting

  • Score Report
  • Excel Report

Materials Needed

  • View the Pricing & Ordering tab and open the Q-interactive section

Benefits of CELF-5 on Q-interactive

  • Create a custom battery by combining CELF-5 subtests with other tests such as the GFTA-3 and PPVT-4.
  • Obtain scaled scores immediately after finishing a subtest, to increase scoring speed and accuracy.
  • Improve accuracy thanks to automated scoring and automated start points and discontinue rules.
  • Engage children by displaying stimuli on the iPad.
  • Listen to your client's responses after the assessment session via our audio recording feature.
  • Automatically generate score reports that include item analyses.

How Can I Buy CELF-5 on Q-interactive?

New customers:

Annual Q-interactive licenses can be purchased using our online order form or by calling Customer Support at 1-800-627-7271. See the Q-interactive pricing tab for more information on license options.

Current Q-interactive customers:

If you want to add the CELF-5 to your account, visit our online order form and select the "Add test(s) to existing account" option. You may also call Customer Support at 1-800-627-7271.




Select a question below to see the response.


What does CELF-5 have in common with previous editions of CELF?

Age range: 5:0 through 21:11 (Except Reading Comprehension and Writing. Those are for ages 9:0 through 21:11.) Index Scores Core Language, Content, Structure, Language Memory, Receptive Language, Expressive Language (there is no Written Language Index). Test Items on some tests.

What has changed in CELF-5 compared to previous editions?

Battery of tests: The CELF-5 is a battery of 16 tests (each age group takes 10 tests) Test Changes: Revisions: All of the tests have some revisions to the wording or artwork based on clinician feedback and research data.

Major revisions to the CELF-4 subtests include:

  • Splitting the Concepts and Following Directions subtests into two different tests.
  • Word Classes: there is no longer an expressive portion of the test.
  • Pragmatics Profile now reports scaled scores.
  • Expressive Vocabulary, Word Associations, Rapid Automatic Naming, Number Repetition and Familiar Sequences have been deleted from the CELF-5.
  • New tests: Reading Comprehension and Writing.
  • New Checklist: Pragmatic Activities Checklist (completed based on activity-based interaction with the student; is a deep dive into nonverbal and verbal behaviors that the student exhibits so that you can better plan intervention.
  • Basals, ceilings, raw score/scaled scores based on current research data.

Normative data

  • Based on current U.S. Census figures.
  • Large minority population.

Sentence Comprehension

Is this a new subtest? Is it something other than auditory comprehension at the sentence level rather than the paragraph level?

It is not. The Sentence Structure test was renamed to better describe the construct being tested. It is auditory comprehension at the sentence level.

Following Directions

One reason I stopped using the CELF is that the Concepts and Following Directions subtest was so heavily dependent on a child having adequate attention and memory that it often pulled a score down far below what made sense for a child. Children who have adequate concept knowledge and language skills but poor attention are penalized by this subtest. How does the new FD subtest compare to the old CFD subtest?

The CELF-5 splits Concepts and Following Directions into two different subtests. One focuses on comprehension of concepts; the other is a set of items that requires a child to point to pictures following directions that are increasingly complex (1, 2, and 3 step commands.) Examples: "Before pointing to the last square, point to the first circle."

A student with a language disorder may have appropriate concept knowledge for his or her age, but experience difficulty in the classroom when he or she cannot integrate concept knowledge into increasingly long and complex directions typically given by teachers in the classroom. The difficulty may lie in understanding long complex directions and/or attention and memory deficits. You will need to work with the psychologist on your team to better understand the role of memory and attention that contribute to the child's deficits in comprehending complex directions.  

Formulated Sentences  

While I understand the rationale behind this subtest for measuring syntax skills, I have found that children who have poor attention (and therefore memory) score more poorly on this subtest than is indicated by their conversational syntax.

The CELF-5 splits Concepts and Following Directions into two different subtests. One focuses on comprehension of concepts; the other is a set of items that requires a child to point to pictures, following directions that are increasingly complex (1, 2, and 3 step commands.) Examples: "Before pointing to the last square, point to the first circle."

There are two ways to look at a child's morphosyntax abilities: Formulated Sentences and Recalling Sentences. Formulated Sentences gives you information about a child's ability to construct a sentence without auditory cues; Recalling Sentences gives you information about a child's ability to use his or her knowledge of linguistic rules--to repeat a long sentence, a child has to have mastery of the underlying grammatical structures rather than depend on memory alone. Having both tests enables you to do some differential diagnosis—is a child capable of producing a morphosyntactically complex sentences on his own, but not in a sentence repetition task (then it may be an attention or memory problem) or is the child unable to do either task well? If the latter is the case, memory and attention may not be the issues causing the problem.

  • Understanding Spoken Paragraphs
  • Word Definitions
  • Sentence Assembly
  • Semantic Relationships

Written Language (Reading Comprehension and Writing)

Is the age range for Reading and Writing the same as the other CELF-5 tests?

9:0 through 21:11

Are the Reading and Writing subtests required to obtain composite scores for certain ages?

They are not.

Core Language Skills  

If a Core Language score of 64 is obtained when administering the CELF-4, should the CELF-4 then be administered in entirety to optimally identify strengths and weaknesses (if also being used to classify a student)? Is the Core Language Standard Score ever sufficient in and of itself?

The Core Language Score is the most reliable and sensitive indicator of the presence of a language disorder. When the Core Language Score is low, it seems prudent to administer all the standardized subtests of CELF-4 to identify potential patterns of strengths and weaknesses.



The following training events are available for CELF-5.