Developing a language screening test for Arabic-speaking children

Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2000 Nov-Dec;52(6):260-74. doi: 10.1159/000021544.


This report gives an account of general and specific issues associated with developing an Arabic-language screening test for children aged between 3 and 12 years. Challenges, dilemmas and stages in the developmental process are discussed. The development of the Arabic Language Screening Test: Preschool and School Age illustrates the process. Issues and stages included: (1) arriving at a consensus about scope and purpose; (2) conceptualizing tasks and items; (3) specifying item content and structure; (4) field-testing the screening tool in a circumscribed environment; (5) developing a robust scoring and interpretation system for determining Pass or Fail, and (6) establishing the degree of accuracy in differentiating children with and without language disorders. The product is a screening test of verbal and related nonverbal abilities with parallel components for children of preschool (3-5 years) and elementary school age (6-12 years). Normative data were collected for 750 Arabic-speaking children in Jordan and Palestine, distributed fairly equally between the ages of 3 and 12 years. Normative means increased with age and standard deviations decreased. Interscorer agreement (99%), internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.98) and diagnostic sensitivity (over 90% accuracy) were high. Constraints and limitations in the development of the test are described and discussed from both objective and personal perspectives.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Language*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Language Tests*
  • Male