One of the hottest topics in my district is always about Response to Intervention and students with language concerns. In Florida, we are required to utilize the RtI process in order to identify students with a language impairment, so obviously this is important for our SLPs. I was super excited when I was contacted by Speech Language Literacy Lab authors to take a peek at the Kindergarten Language Benchmark Assessment (KBLA) and write a review for you guys…it sounded like something that would fill a definite need in my speech world!
The KBLA was created by Naomi R. Konikoff, MS, CCC-SLP and Jennifer Preschern, MA, CCC-SLP. The testing kit includes an administration manual, testing book, and protocols. Each protocol allows for 3 administrations, as the test is designed to be given three times a year (fall, winter, spring) to monitor language growth in kindergarten students over the course of a school year. The KBLA can be administered in less than 5 minutes and skill ares include: auditory comprehension, receptive/expressive categories, following directions, and narrative language. The test yields a raw score for each skill area.
The test administration is really easy! The directions and prompts are in the testing book, and utilize color drawings. I found that I was able to administer in about 5 minutes to most of my students (some took a little longer because of distractibility). Each skill area includes training items so students are clear about what their target response is.
While I have started small with this product by testing only the students on my caseload, it is designed to create norms on a entire kindergarten class. This helps to determine student’s who may have language needs on a larger basis and monitor their progress as they go through RtI. I would love to be able to implement this tool as a school wide monitoring tool for all of the kindergarten students, but that just wasn’t possible for me this year. You can read more about using the KBLA to guide RtI in this blog post.
Even though I am not using it for the RtI process, I have really found it to give me useful data about the students on my caseload this year. It gave me a baseline of basic language skills of these new students and I have a tool to use to measure growth through the year. It also helped me out with creating quality, measurable goals for a new kindergarten student at the very start of the school year when his IEP was due and I had very little information to go on.
Overall, this is a great resource for me to have in my therapy room and I am excited to use it as the year goes on! If you want to read more about the KBLA, please check out Speech Language Literacy Lab!
What do you think? Do you have a universal kindergarten screener you love? I’d love to hear how that works in your school!