An Analysis of the Phonetic Level Evaluation: Age and Task Factors

Lynn Weissler Miskiel, Arlene Earley Carney, Cynthia J. Johnson, Edward Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Phonetic Level Evaluation (PLE) (Ling, 1976) was administered to 30 preschoolers (chronological age [CA] 3:0 to 5:0, years:months) with normal hearing. Each child received the entire segmental portion of the PLE to determine if the children's overall scores of percent correct sound production increased with increasing age, and whether the elicited speech tasks were observed to be ordered according to difficulty, as described by Ling. Two judges scored each production. Results indicated that: (a) older children received significantly higher percent correct scores than younger children, (b) approximately the same error rate was observed for vowel productions as for simple consonants, and (c) scores for all children were considerably poorer for initial consonant blends than for final consonant blends. The latter two results ran counter to the proposed order of task difficulty designed by Ling. This study provides speech production data from children with normal hearing in this frequently used speech-elicitation task for children with hearing loss. These data are useful to clinicians in setting developmentally appropriate goals for speech production in young children with hearing loss. In addition, the results suggest that clinicians might change the order of presentation of word-initial and word-final blends in the administration of the PLE in order to provide a better approximation to developmental task difficulty.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994


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