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Created by Eleanor Semel, Elisabeth H.

Wiig and
Wayne A. Secord

Published by the Psychological Association in
Presentation prepared by Carli Newberry and Amy English
June 13
EDPS652 University of Calgary
Cost is $755 Canadian for basic kit

Evaluates ages 5-21 in two groups:
5-8 and 9-21

For a core-language score it takes 30-45 minutes but can easily
take over and hour and be done over a number of sessions

Most often administered by a speech-language pathologist
-experience and training administering CELF-4
-experience administering individualized and standardized tests
-experience working with children/students

Individually administered in a distraction-free room, side-by-
side with student.
The Basics
Used if a student is struggling with:
- understanding and following directions
- word association, relationships between words and meanings
- semantic relationships
- formulating simple sentences
- recalling sentences
- sentence assembly
- understanding spoken paragraphs
- sentence structure acquisition of grammar at the spoken
sentence level
- word structure
- expressive vocabulary
- word definitions

Students are referred because of a language delay or difficulty.

The CELF is used to assess:
- how the student uses and understands language
- performance and skills

CELF-4 helps:
- make a diagnosis
- determine eligibility for assistance
- identify strengths and weaknesses
- recommend classroom language adaptations and
- plan curriculum-relevant intervention
- measure treatment efficiency

How it works
Four levels of assessment allow you to design an individualized
assessment path for the student.

Level 1 determines whether there is a language delay/disorder

Level 2 determines the nature of the disorder as well as the
students strengths and weaknesses.

Level 3 uses subtests to evaluate underlying clinical

Level 4 explores/evaluates how the students language and
communication performance and social interactions are

The previous version, CELF-3, was published in 1995.
CELF-4 Improvements
Allows you to evaluate general language ability and whether a
disorder is present by administering only four subtests to obtain a
core language score.
- more reliable and valid
- easier to use and score = faster interpretation of results
- refined to respond to diverse populations and minimize bias
- upper limits strengthened
- expanded to include evaluation of age 5
- expanded the floor for better diagnostic value
- reformatted stimulus books for easier direction and
- reformatted record form for easier scoring
- expanded to include assessment of communication skills

Skills the CELF-4 Measures
Level 1 Core Language Score:
Concepts and Following Directions
Word Structure (ages 5 to 8 only)
Recalling Sentences
Formulated Sentences
Word Classes (ages 9 to 21 only)
Word Definitions (ages 9 to 21 only)
Concepts and Following Directions
The student points to pictured objects in
response to oral directions
Word Structure (ages 5-8 only)
The student completes a sentence using a
targeted word structure
Recalling Sentences
The student repeats sentences said by the
Formulated Sentences
The student formulates a sentence about the
visual stimulus using a targeted word or
Word Classes (ages 9-21)
The student chooses between two related
words and describes the relationship
Word Definition (ages 9-21)
The student defines a word that is presented
and used in a sentence
Level 2 Describing the Nature of the

Language disorders are characterized by the CELF-4
by a(n):

Receptive Language Index
Expressive Language Index
Language Content Index
Language Structure Index (5-8 year olds)
Language Memory Index (9-21 year olds)
Level 2 - Receptive Language Index
Ages 5-8 Ages 9-12 Ages 13-21
Concepts and Following
Concepts and Following
Word Classes Receptive
Word Classes Receptive Word Classes Receptive Semantic Relationships
Sentence Structure Understanding Spoken
Level 2 - Receptive Language Index
Sentence Structure (ages 5-8)
The student points to a picture that illustrates
the given sentence
Level 2 - Receptive Language Index
Semantic Relationships (ages 13-21)
The student listens to a sentence and selects
the two choices that answer a target question
Level 2 - Receptive Language Index
Understanding Spoken Paragraphs
(ages 13-21)
Student responds to questions about orally
presented paragraphs.
Level 2 Expressive Language Index
Ages 5-8 Ages 9-12 Ages 13-21
Recalling Sentences Recalling Sentences Recalling Sentences
Formulated Sentences Formulated Sentences Formulated Sentences
Word Structure Word Classes Expressive Word Classes - Expressive
Level 2 Language Content Index
Ages 5-8 Ages 9-12 Ages 13-21
Concepts and Following
Word Definitions Word Definitions
Word Classes Word Classes Sentence Assembly
Expressive Vocabulary Understanding Spoken
Understanding Spoken
Expressive Vocabulary
Level 2 Language Content Index
Expressive Vocabulary (ages 5-12)
The student identifies the image presented on
the stimulus card
Level 2 Language Content Index
Sentence Assembly (ages 13-21)
The student creates two semantically correct
sentences using visual and oral information
presented by the examiner
Level 2 Language Structure Index
(ages 5-8 only)

Word Structure
Recalling Sentences
Formulated Sentences
Sentence Structure
Level 2 Language Memory Index
Ages 9 12 Ages 13 21
Recalling Sentences Recalling Sentences
Formulated Sentences Formulated Sentences
Concepts and Following Directions Semantic Relationships
Record Form Sample
Level 3 Evaluating Underlying Clinical

Phonological Awareness (ages 5-12)
Word Associations
Rapid Automatic Naming
Number Repetition
Familiar Sequences
Phonological Awareness (ages 5-12)
17 subtasks can be quite lengthy!
Rhyming, segmenting, identifying sounds and
syllables, blending, etc.
Word Associations
Student orally names words in a specific
category while being timed
Rapid Automatic Naming
The student names colours, shapes, and
colour-shape combinations while being timed
Number Repetition
Student repeats a number sequence forwards
and backwards
Familiar Sequences
The student names days of the week, the
alphabet, and other familiar sequences while
being timed.
Level 4 Evaluating Language in

Pragmatics Profile
Observational Rating Scale
Pragmatics Profile
Observational Rating Scale
Allows for flexibility for students with
exceptional needs
Largely culturally unbiased
Allows for dialectical differences
Visually appealing
Available in French and English
Requires a highly trained and knowledgeable
examiner to interpret results
Some content would be inappropriate for
certain cultures/regions
Eg. newspaper on expressive vocabulary subtest
Norm-referenced 9 years ago needs an
Can be lengthy to administer

Special Considerations

It is essential to understand the subjects
culture and dialect when interpreting results!

This test is designed only for students who
have English as their primary language
We would use this test if
A student has a hard time following directions
A student has difficulty communicating their
ideas orally
A student demonstrates unusually low
If a student has difficulty learning new content
If a student has difficulty generating novel