Purpose: Despite the long history of language sampling use in the study of child language development and disorders, there are no set guidelines specifying the reporting of language sampling procedures. The authors propose reporting standards for use by investigators who employ language samples in their research.
Method: The authors conducted a literature search of child-focused studies published in journals of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association between January 2000 and December 2011 that included language sampling procedures to help characterize child participants or to derive measures to serve as dependent variables. Following this search, they reviewed each study and documented the language sampling procedures reported.
Results: The authors’ synthesis revealed that approximately 25% of all child-focused studies use language samples to help characterize participants and/or derive dependent variables. They found remarkable inconsistencies in the reporting of language sampling procedures.
Conclusion: To maximize the conclusions drawn from research using language samples, the authors strongly encourage investigators of child language to consistently report language sampling procedures using the proposed reporting checklist.