Sentence repetition

Theodoros Marinis, Sharon Armon-Lotem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Sentence repetition (SRep) tasks have been shown to be very sensitive and specific in identifying children with language impairment in monolingual populations (Conti-Ramsden et al., 2001) among others. Sensitivity measures the proportion of children who have language impairment and score very low in a specific task; specificity, in contrast, measures the proportion of children with typical language development (TLD) who do not score low in a specific task. Poor sensitivity may lead to under-diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI), whereas poor specificity may lead to over-diagnosis. In a seminal paper, Conti-Ramsden et al. (2001) showed that sentence recall from Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals 3 (CELF-3) (Semel et al., 1995) had 90% sensitivity and 85% specificity, much higher than measures for non-word repetition (78% sensitivity, 87% specificity), past tense (74% sensitivity, 89% specificity) and third singular –s (63% sensitivity, 90% specificity). These figures illustrate nicely that SRep tasks are more challenging for children with language impairment than other tasks and this is why 90% of children with language impairment score below the cut-off point. At the same time, they are more challenging for some children with TLD as well and this is why 15% of monolingual children with TLD score below the cut-off point, a higher proportion than on all other tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssessing Multilingual Children
Subtitle of host publicationDisentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment
PublisherChannel View Publications
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781783093137
ISBN (Print)9781783093113
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong, Natalia Meir and the authors of individual chapters.


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