For more than 100 years, linguists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have used language sample analysis (LSA) to document children’s language development. Although technological advances have helped facilitate the process, the basic methods have remained the same.

In the latest issue of Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups (Perspectives), Special Interest Group (SIG) 1, Language Learning and Education, presents a forum on LSA for school-based SLPs. These three tutorials developed by SIG 1 Editor Stacey Pavelko provide practitioners with tools to better assess students who may have a language disorder.

More on the Tutorials

Systematic Analysis of Language Transcript (SALT) software dates back almost 40 years and has developed into a collection of tools for SLPs. The forum opens with an article by Heilmann and Miller that walks clinicians through three case studies illustrating the use of SALT to elicit, transcribe, analyze, and interpret language samples.

Next, Bernstein Ratner and MacWhinney describe how language assessment software can help SLPs assess language skills and plan therapy goals that address specific grammar structures. After the tutorial, the authors (a) answer specific questions that clinicians and parents may have and (b) address the limitations of language analysis software.

Finally, Pavelko and Owens Jr. present an LSA method that they developed, Sampling Utterances and Grammatical Analysis Revised (SUGAR). The authors note that their method was developed to address barriers to language sampling, is free, and takes just over 20 minutes.

We’d like to thank Dr. Pavelko and all the authors for their work putting together this forum for SIG 1! We hope that it will be a useful tool for school-based SLPs as well as for other pediatric clinicians who may use language sampling. Read the entire forum in the latest issue of Perspectives, or explore the individual articles below!

More Resources for School-Based SLPs

Perspectives published more than 180 articles last year alone, including three forums from SIG 1 and more than 30 articles specifically relevant for school-based practitioners. Perspectives is free for affiliates of ASHA’s 20 Special Interest Groups, but you can preview Perspectives by reading dozens of open access articles and checking out our Free Sample Article page, freshly updated for 2023!

Explore the Forum

Bernstein Ratner, N., & MacWhinney, B. (2023). Assessment and therapy goal planning using free computerized language analysis software. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 8(1), 19–31.

Heilmann, J. J., & Miller, J. F. (2023). Systematic Analysis of language transcripts solutions: A tutorial. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 8(1),1–18.

Pavelko, S. L., & Owens, R. E., Jr. (2023). A sweet tutorial to the SUGAR method of language sampling. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 8(1), 32–49 .