Interpreting the Difference Between Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test Results Speech-language pathologists working in school-based settings frequently receive referrals from teachers with concerns about a student’s poor listening skills and/or the inability to “follow directions.” After observing the student in the classroom, speech-language pathologists often continue the assessment process by individually administering tests of receptive and expressive vocabulary to ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2006
Interpreting the Difference Between Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test Results
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathleen T. Williams
    Office of Academic Initiatives The College Board, New York, NY
Article Information
Development / Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2006
Interpreting the Difference Between Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test Results
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, March 2006, Vol. 7, 20-23. doi:10.1044/sbi7.1.23
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, March 2006, Vol. 7, 20-23. doi:10.1044/sbi7.1.23
Speech-language pathologists working in school-based settings frequently receive referrals from teachers with concerns about a student’s poor listening skills and/or the inability to “follow directions.” After observing the student in the classroom, speech-language pathologists often continue the assessment process by individually administering tests of receptive and expressive vocabulary to gain a norm-referenced appraisal of the individual’s lexical store. A limited vocabulary could certainly provide part of the explanation for why a student is exhibiting such problems in the classroom.
The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition (PPVT-III; Dunn & Dunn, 1997) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT; Williams, 1997) are instruments especially constructed for the purpose of comparing receptive and expressive vocabulary skills; both tests were standardized on the same normative sample, or “co-normed.” Co-norming provides several psychometric advantages that are considered best practice. Standard 13.8 of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education, 1999) provides further explanation:
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