Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Geralyn R. Timler

Stacey Pavelko

Marsha S. Longerbeam


Pragmatics, or the social use of language, is a dimension of communication skills that is very difficult to assess due to its dependence on cultural norms, situational context, and speaker differences. Of the current methods for evaluating pragmatic language skills in children, the literature most frequently recommends naturalistic assessment because it allows the clinician to most closely simulate a real-life interaction. Despite these recommendations, limited information exists to guide clinicians in making decisions about which activities yield the most representative pragmatic language sample. This preliminary study compared two naturalistic pragmatic assessments, the Pragmatic Activities from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fifth Edition (CELF-5) and the Yale in Vivo Pragmatic Protocol (YiPP), to answer two research questions 1.) Which of the two naturalistic assessments, yielded more child utterances, response to questions, and longer mean turn length? and 2.) Did these naturalistic assessments identify the pragmatic concerns reported by caregivers? Assessments were administered to six participants, three children with pragmatic language concerns, and three age-matched peers. This study found that the number of child utterances, response to questions, and mean turn length varied greatly across participants although subtle differences emerged across activities. On average, the Yale in Vivo Pragmatic Protocol (YiPP) elicited a longer mean turn length and a higher number of utterances per minute. In regard to the second research question, the CELF-5 pragmatic activities checklist matched up more closely with the pragmatic concerns identified by caregivers than the YiPP error/cue scores. The results of this study support use of the Pragmatic Activities Checklist as one assessment tool to confirm parent-identified pragmatic concerns in school-age children.



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