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Title: The development of a speech and language screening tool for 3-year-old Maltese children
Authors: Formosa, Rebecca Pia
Keywords: Language and languages -- Ability testing -- Malta
Children -- Language -- Testing
Language acquisition
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Formosa, R. P. (2019). The development of a speech and language screening tool for 3-year-old Maltese children (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: The aim of this study was to develop a speech and language screening tool for 3-year old children living in Malta. It included a group of 200 participants attending state and independent schools. The screen included a parent questionnaire, a language screening test and a speech screening test. A sentence imitation task (SIT) which is a subtest found in the Language Assessment for Maltese Children (LAMC; Grech, Franklin, & Dodd, 2011a) was used to screen language abilities. Their speech abilities were screened through a picture naming task (PNT) using pictures obtained from the Maltese-English Speech Assessment (MESA; Grech, Dodd & Franklin, 2011a). The results were analysed to determine the children’s performance pertaining to age, gender and test language (Maltese or English). The parents’/guardians’ responses on the questionnaire were then compared with the results of the speech and language tasks. The screening tool was also tested for reliability and validity as well as sensitivity and specificity. The correlations between the tasks and the questionnaire responses were statistically significant but weak for the SIT and moderate for the PNT. Findings show that age and gender were the main predictors of the SIT while gender alone predicted the PNT score. The screening tool was found to be both reliable and valid. It also had a high level of sensitivity (85.7% for the SIT and 75% for the PNT) and specificity (92.3% for the SIT and 91.7%. for the PNT) making it an efficient tool for screening speech and language skills of 3-year-old children.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacHSc - 2019
Dissertations - FacHScCT - 2019

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