LURI: A Listening Comprehension Measure for Preschool Children

LURI: A Listening Comprehension Measure for Preschool Children

First Author: Hanne Næss Hjetland -- Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo
Additional authors/chairs: 
Åste Marie Mjelve Hagen; Kristin Rogde; Rebecca Knoph; Monica Melby-Lervåg
Keywords: Early childhood age 3-8, Language Development, Linguistic Comprehension, test validation
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: Investigating the psychometric properties and predictive validity of the listening comprehension test,LURI, children ages 3-7.

Method: 289 children (mean age 4.82 years) with low vocabulary skills was tested with the LURI assessment that contain ten stories, each with 3-5 questions. An item response matrix was analyzed using a two-parameter logistic item response theory (IRT) model to determine how well individual items and full stories were performing relative to others. These IRT parameters, along with Cronbach’s alpha, facilitates determination in internal validity. In a subsample, we also tested the predictive validity of the LURI test on other language measures.

Results: The IRT model showed that the LURI performs best for children answering approximately 50% questions correct. The ten stories measured different parts of the latent “listening ability” scale. When comparing individual item curves, it is evident that no item is performing poorly. Through a sequence of linear regressions we found that LURI significantly predicts children’s scores on a measure of word definition a year later (R2=.11, F(2,129)=7.7, p=.01), even when controlling for scores at timepoint 1. LURI predicts performance a year later on morpheme generation (R2=.40, F(2,130)=42.6, p<.01), syntax (R2=.19, F(2,128)=14.5, p<.01), and narrative skills (R2=0.34, F(2,130)=32.6, p=.01), but not nonverbal IQ.

Conclusions: The LURI is an appropriate tool to measure listening comprehension ability in Norwegian children. Scores on the LURI converge with scores of related language measures but not tests of general intelligence. This indicates that the LURI tool tap skills specific relevant to the development of language.