Measures and References: Syntax

Return to Syntax factor page.


Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Language Sample (Miller & Iglesias, 2012): Examines syntactic structures students produce relative to peers. Specific structures are expected to appear at certain points in development (see [Brown's Stages of Language Development][3]).

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF)Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2013): Measures language skills, including Syntax, in children aged six to 21


Bishop, D.V.M. (2003). Test for reception of Grammar-2. London, UK: Pearson.

Boons, T., De Raeve, L., Langereis, M., Peeraer, L., Wouters, J., & Van Wieringen, A. (2013). Expressive vocabulary, morphology, syntax and narrative skills in profoundly deaf children after early cochlear implantation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(6), 2008-2022.

Cain, K. (2007). Syntactic awareness and reading ability: Is there any evidence for a special relationship? Applied Psycholinguistics, 28(4), 679-694.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003). The early catastrophe: The 30 million word gap. American Educator, 27(1), 4-9.

Holsgrove, J. V., & Garton, A. F. (2006). Phonological and syntactic processing and the role of working memory in reading comprehension among secondary school students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58(2), 111-118.

Kit-Sum To, C., Stokes, S. F., Cheung, H.-T., & T'sou, B. (2010). Narrative assessment for Cantonese-speaking children. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 53(3), 648-669.

Lonigan, C. J., & Shanahan, T. (2009). Developing early literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Executive summary. A scientific synthesis of early literacy development and implications for intervention. Jessup, MD: National Institute for Literacy at Ed Pubs.

Manhardt, J., & Rescorla, L. (2002). Oral narrative skills of late talkers at ages 8 and 9. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23, 1-21.

Nation, K., Cocksey, J., Taylor, J. S., & Bishop, D. V. (2010). A longitudinal investigation of early reading and language skills in children with poor reading comprehension. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(9), 1031-1039.

Norbury, C. F., & Bishop, D. V. M. (2003). Narrative skills of children with communication impairments. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 38(3), 287-313.

Paul, R., Hernandez, R., Taylor, L., & Johnson, K. (1996). Narrative development in late talkers: Early school age. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 39, 1295-1303.

Senechal, M., Pagan, S., Lever, R., & Ouellette, G. P. (2008). Relations among the frequency of shared reading and 4-year-old children's vocabulary, morphological and syntax comprehension, and narrative skills. Early Education and Development, 19(1), 27-44.

Vandewalle, E., Boets, B., Boons, T., Ghesquiere, P., & Zink, I. (2012). Oral language and narrative skills in children with specific language impairment with and without literacy delay: A three-year longitudinal study. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(6), 1857-1870.

Wiig, E. H., Semel, E., & Secord, W. A. (2013). Clinical evaluation of language fundamentals-Fifth edition (CELF-5). Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson.

Wolter, J. A., Wood, A., & D'zatko, K. W. (2009). The influence of morphological awareness on the literacy development of first-grade children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 286-298.