Assessing Children’s Language Skills at a Distance: Does it Work? The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of using videoconferencing to assess children’s language skills. Participants were 6 typically developing monolingual English-speaking children, ages 3;0–5;11, from middle class families. Using a within-subjects design, the participants completed a story-retell task in both videoconferencing (VC) and face-to-face (F2F) conditions. ... Article
Article  |   January 01, 2014
Assessing Children’s Language Skills at a Distance: Does it Work?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brian Manzanares
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO
  • Pui Fong Kan
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO
  • Disclosures: Financial: Brian Manzanares and Pui Fong Kan have no financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosures: Financial: Brian Manzanares and Pui Fong Kan have no financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Brian Manzanares and Pui Fong Kan have no nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Brian Manzanares and Pui Fong Kan have no nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language Disorders / Articles
Article   |   January 01, 2014
Assessing Children’s Language Skills at a Distance: Does it Work?
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, January 2014, Vol. 23, 34-41. doi:10.1044/aac23.1.34
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, January 2014, Vol. 23, 34-41. doi:10.1044/aac23.1.34

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of using videoconferencing to assess children’s language skills. Participants were 6 typically developing monolingual English-speaking children, ages 3;0–5;11, from middle class families. Using a within-subjects design, the participants completed a story-retell task in both videoconferencing (VC) and face-to-face (F2F) conditions. During the task for each condition, children were presented with a story, along with a wordless book. In addition, 4 unfamiliar words were embedded within the story. Results showed that there were no significant differences in the microstructures of their narratives between F2F and VC conditions. Results also showed that children learned the target words in both conditions equally well. The findings in this study provide evidence that the VC and F2F conditions are comparable when administering the story-retell task to typically developing young children. Despite these preliminary findings, more research is needed to verify whether or not similar results would be found with young children with communication challenges.

Acknowledgements
This study is Brian Manzanares’ Master thesis. We would like to thank research assistants, Meryl Meisner, Jessica Morgan, and Lindsey Miller, for their help with stimuli development, data collection, and data analysis. We would also like to thank Arlene Stredler-Brown MA-SLP CCC and Eliana Colunga for their comments. I would like to extend a special thanks to all the participants and their parents for their willingness to contribute their time and energy to this project.
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