Oral language development (Mouzaki et al., 2020)

Purpose: This study investigated component skills in oral language development utilizing and validating a new assessment battery in a large (N = 800) and representative sample of Greek students 4–7 years of age.
Method: All participants enrolled in public schools from four geographical regions (Attica, Thessaly, Macedonia, and Crete) that varied demographically (urban, semiurban, and rural). For the individualized language assessments, we utilized mobile devices (tablet PC) to ensure children’s interest and joyful participation as well as reliable administration procedures across sites. Results by confirmatory factor analyses specified and validated five different models in each grade to identify the best conceptualization of language dimensionality in the respective age groups.
Results: Four-dimensional model provided a slightly better discriminant validity in language data of the preschool group. However, in kindergarten and first grades, the five-dimensional model had the best fit to the data to the four-dimensional.
Conclusion: These findings support the multidimensionality of oral language ability at this phase of development and increase of factor distinctiveness as children grow.

Supplemental Material S1. Data handling procedures; model testing procedures and criteria.

Mouzaki, A., Spyropoulou, E., Ralli, Antoniou, F., Diamanti, V., & Papaioannou, S. (2020). The dimensionality of oral language ability: Evidence from young Greek children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-19-00008