An elicited imitation test for measuring preschoolers’ language development

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Abstract

The present article describes a new Persian elicited imitation test (EIT) developed for assessing the overall language proficiency of Persian-speaking preschoolers. It reports a study that investigated the power of the EIT in discriminating children’s linguistic abilities through having them repeat sentences of varying lengths and morphosyntactic complexity. The study also explored the relationship between children’s performance on the EIT and their free speech. A total of 119 three- to- six-year-old Iranian monolingual children participated in the study by completing the EIT and an oral narrative task. Results showed that the new EIT can discriminate children with different levels of language abilities. Moreover, positive correlations were found between children’s scores on the EIT and their performance on the oral narrative task. Results suggest that the EIT provides a reliable measure of overall language development, and it can be effectively used to evaluate children’s language proficiency in various contexts.

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