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ISCH COST Action A33
Cross-linguistically robust stages of children's linguistic performance

The main objective of the Action is to discover methods that can be used for diagnosing

language problems in children in all European languages. The specific focus are children at

the age of school-entry (age 5 to 6) though, if time permits, the Action will also consider

younger children. While it is desirable to reach a diagnosis as early as possible in a child's

life, the younger the child the harder it is to diagnose language problems. At the age of

school-entry, an assessment of language problems has great practical importance .

The main objective is structured into two milestones that are accomplished after two and

after four years respectively. After two years, a report is released that provides an overview

of test methods and experimental procedures that will be used in the coordinated research on

children around the age of school-entry . After four years, a second report is published that

contains a set of studies on cross-linguistic acquisition with comparable methods. Based on

this second publication, recommendations can be made concerning linguistic properties along

with suitable test methods that can be used to develop cross-linguistic tests for language

problems and language impairment in children at the age of school-entry.

The likely end users of the results of this Action are professionals in the medical, speech

pathology, and education communities that work with children who might need language

therapy. To shape the result of the basic research conducted in this Action into a set of test

materials that professionals in the medical, speech pathology and education communities can

use, the results will be made available to commercial entities that provide test sets to

interested professionals. The additional development required at this point involving the

creation of visual and audio materials and the distribution can be undertaken by a commercial

entity. Specifically, Harcourt Assessment Inc. has indicated interest in the development of

cross-linguistic tests for language problems in children.

A second, much smaller group of likely end-users are researchers working on language

impairment from different perspectives. One area of growing interest is the genetics of

language. A genetic cause of SLI has been suggested by studies of family histories (Bishop

1995). Recently, the gene responsible has been determined in one case of severe SLI (Lai et

al. 2001). New tests for the phenotype of SLI could be used by future research in genetics.

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Chair of the Action:


Vice Chair of the Action:

Prof Heather K.j. VAN DER LELY (UK)

Science officer of the Action:


Administrative officer of the Action:

Ms Carmencita MALIMBAN


Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF

Progress Report

Download Progress Report as PDF

Final Report

Download Final Report as PDF


* content provided by e-COST.
Data is synchronised once per night.


Last updated: 02 May 2011 top of page