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The Observable Speech-Language Skills (OSLS) checklist was created as a supplementary measure compatible for use with other early childhood play observation measures. This checklist can be completed during observation of a young child at play with a partner (e.g., parent, peer, etc.) in which speech and language skills can be demonstrated. The measure is not intended to replace other diagnostic tools, but rather to serve as a screening instrument that can be used to document speech-language behaviors. The OSLS may be completed by a speech-language pathologist, school psychologist, or other early childhood professionals with knowledge of speech-language development. 


Information pertaining to the OSLS’s reliability and validity is still being studied. Limited preliminary, and as yet unpublished, data regarding reliability has been collected. Inter-rater reliability between undergraduate speech-language pathology students who used the screening tool to code 43 20-minute play samples of 2-year-olds playing and interacting with a parent resulted in 92% agreement for both receptive and expressive language targets. Inter-rater reliability for undergraduate psychology students trained on the measure who coded 27 video-taped play samples of 2-year-olds playing and interacting with a parent resulted in 83% agreement for expressive language targets and 85% agreement for receptive language targets. The authors acknowledge the information included in this measure are based on developmental guidelines and published research, as referenced in the resource list with the measure.


Clinical partners interested in participating in reliability data collection are encouraged to contact the researchers: 


Dr. Kathy Coufal, CCC-SLP                          Dr. Shari DeVeney

UNO Professor Emeritus                                UNO Associate Professor                         

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