As speech-language pathologists, we want to create SMART goals. However, how can we effectively measure progress in a time efficient manner across the year?
The speech-language team at Madison school uses the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KLBA) three times a year in order to assess language growth in all children. The KLBA takes 4 minutes per child to administer. It assesses four areas highly correlated to future reading comprehension and academic success: auditory comprehension, following directions, categorization(receptive and expressive) and narrative language.
At Madison School, KLBA data is used to
The data is also helpful for writing measurable IEP goals for receptive (auditory comprehension, following directions, receptive categorization) and expressive language (expressive categorization, narrative language).
Here is a sample data feedback provided to parents at the end of the year.
The data demonstrates that this student with an identified expressive/receptive language disorder is making growth.
This student had two IEP goals:
1. By the next annual review date, student X will increase receptive language as measured by following 4/5 two step directions.
2. By the next annual review date, student X will increase expressive language as measured by answering 4/6 prediction and cause-effect questions after listening to a short story with picture supports.
The KLBA data clearly shows progress on both of these goals. Each individual goal can be graphed using data during the year, or the parent can be provided an overall language growth snapshot for the child compared to his peers.
In a pilot student conducted by Angela Anthony at Eastern Illinois University, it was determined that the KLBA is valid for measuring language growth over time. Therefore, if a student is not demonstrating growth on the KLBA, then school teams can meet and discuss programmatic changes.
At Madison school, all verbal children, including children with disabilities such as Autism and Down Syndrome, are assessed with the KLBA. The KLBA has items that are all developmental expectations for age 5. However, some of the items are easier, enabling all children to demonstrate growth.
The KLBA is a valuable tool in order to help time-limited SLPs write SMART AND graphable IEP goals.