Oral Language Assessment in the Preschool and Primary Grades: Definitions, Measures, and Theoretical Lens


  • Denise Hudspith Heppner University of Toronto, University of Saskatchewan


oral language, emergent literacy, assessment preschool, oral language assessment


The overarching goal of this literature review is to improve the understanding of the importance of oral language to critical emergent literacy skills and provide an overview of available assessment measures for use within the classroom.  An overview of the components of language (i.e., content, form, and use) is provided.  Measures of oral language gleaned from a comprehensive literature review of the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) database are discussed, organized according to the components of language they are assessing.  An examination of the theoretical foundations of language acquisition and development provides an orienting framework for educators.   

Author Biography

Denise Hudspith Heppner, University of Toronto, University of Saskatchewan

Denise Heppner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto.  She currently teaches courses online for the Post Degree Special Education Certificate at the University of Saskatchewan.


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2021-07-11 — Updated on 2021-09-02


How to Cite

Heppner, D. H. (2021). Oral Language Assessment in the Preschool and Primary Grades: Definitions, Measures, and Theoretical Lens. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 55(2). Retrieved from https://mje.mcgill.ca/article/view/9660 (Original work published July 11, 2021)