Objectives: Standardized tests and spontaneous speech sample analysis have been used to measure children's language abilities. However, standardized tests alone cannot provide complete information on each child's interaction skills. To obtain specific performance on interaction skills, spontaneous speech sample analysis is essential in clinical situations. Nevertheless, there is no standardized norm in spontaneous speech sample analysis. Thus, this study is designed to investigate performance in typically developing children (TD) in different age groups by analyzing spontaneous speech samples of four subtypes (the number of utterances, initiations, responses, and turn-takings), compared to those of children with language delay (LD). Methods: A total of 131 children ages 2-5 participated in this study. Spontaneous speech samples were collected during three different structured play settings of 25 minutes each and analyzed for interaction skills. Results: The results are as follows. In the TD group, the number of utterances, responses, and turn-takings increased with age, but there was no significant difference in the number of conversation initiations. There was a significant difference in the number of utterances, conversation initiations, responses, and turn-takings between TD and LD. Conclusion: Results suggest that children's spontaneous speech is representative of their language development and can be an effective measure in screening for children at risk of language delay.
- Analysis of spontaneous speech
- Children with language delay
- Interaction skills
- Typically developing children