Use of language sample analysis by school-based SLPs: Results of a nationwide survey

Stacey L Pavelko, Robert E Owens , Marie Ireland, Debbie L Hahs-Vaghn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This article examines use of language sample analysis (LSA) by school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs), including characteristics of language samples, methods of transcription and analysis, barriers to LSA use, and factors affecting LSA use, such as American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification, number of years' experience, and caseload characteristics.
Method: School-based SLPs responded to an invitation to complete an electronic survey related to LSA.
Results: One third of respondents indicated they did not use LSA during the 2012–2013 school year. SLPs who served middle and high school students were less likely to use LSA. Most respondents reported using conversation to analyze fewer than 10 samples and transcribing in real time. Additional analyses revealed that SLPs who had 3 or fewer years of experience and who analyzed fewer than 20 language samples per year were statistically less likely to report using real-time transcription. The most frequently cited barrier to using LSA was “LSA is too time-consuming.”
Conclusion: Many school-based SLPs do not routinely use LSA. Further, many did not report engaging in evidence-based practices, such as recording samples, using established protocols, or using tasks designed to elicit complex syntax. These results indicate a continued need for professional development regarding evidenced-based practices relative to LSA use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-258
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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