The purposes of the study were to determine (a) the ability of two spontaneous language measures, mean length of utterance in morphemes (MLU-m) and number of different words (NDW), to identify African American preschool children at low and high levels of language ability; (b) whether child chronological age was related to the performance of either group; and (c) the relationship between maternal education and the performance of children on MLU-m, NDW, and on the Expressive Communication (EC) subscale of the Preschool Language Scale–3. Analyses revealed that children with low language abilities performed lower on the language sampling measures than did those with high language abilities. Using MLU-m and NDW successfully classified 72.1% children with low language abilities and 75.4% children with high language abilities. Children's MLU-m and NDW were positively related with age. Children differed in their expressive language measures related to maternal education levels.
- language sampling measures
- low income
- maternal education
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health