The Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q): assessing language profiles in bilinguals and multilinguals

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2007 Aug;50(4):940-67. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2007/067).


Purpose: To develop a reliable and valid questionnaire of bilingual language status with predictable relationships between self-reported and behavioral measures.

Method: In Study 1, the internal validity of the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) was established on the basis of self-reported data from 52 multilingual adult participants. In Study 2, criterion-based validity was established on the basis of standardized language tests and self-reported measures from 50 adult Spanish-English bilinguals. Reliability and validity of the questionnaire were established on healthy adults whose literacy levels were equivalent to that of someone with a high school education or higher.

Results: Factor analyses revealed consistent factors across both studies and suggested that the LEAP-Q was internally valid. Multiple regression and correlation analyses established criterion-based validity and suggested that self-reports were reliable indicators of language performance. Self-reported reading proficiency was a more accurate predictor of first-language performance, and self-reported speaking proficiency was a more accurate predictor of second-language performance. Although global measures of self-reported proficiency were generally predictive of language ability, deriving a precise estimate of performance on a particular task required that specific aspects of language history be taken into account.

Conclusion: The LEAP-Q is a valid, reliable, and efficient tool for assessing the language profiles of multilingual, neurologically intact adult populations in research settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests / standards*
  • Male
  • Multilingualism*
  • Reading
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Assessment
  • Speech
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*