Selecting an Instrument for Measuring Infant and Toddler Language and Preliteracy

| Shira Kolnik Mattera, Jane Choi

Language and preliteracy skills from birth to age 3 are important predictors of the reading gap that may emerge in the elementary school years and beyond. This research brief surveys instruments for assessing infants and toddlers’ language and preliteracy skills to inform selection of appropriate measures for different uses by practitioners, researchers, program evaluators, funders, and policymakers. The scan draws from existing reviews and compendia of infant and toddler measures in the language and literacy domains. It evaluates them using a set of logistical and psychometric criteria informed by discussions with infant-toddler experts and practitioners for three purposes: identifying delays, measuring individual differences and change, and informing teaching and learning.