Background/Aims: Nonword repetition (NWR) studies with English-speaking toddlers indicate favorable diagnostic accuracy for identifying early language delays and strong associations with early vocabulary. While scarce, studies of Spanish NWR have revealed strong diagnostic accuracy with preschool- and school-age children. This study aimed to (1) establish the association between Spanish NWR and early linguistic measures, (2) compare the Spanish NWR skills of typical Spanish-speaking toddlers and those of toddlers with early language delays (ELD), and (3) establish the diagnostic accuracy of a Spanish NWR task. Methods: Sixty-five Spanish-speaking toddlers were given a NWR task and a language assessment while parents completed a vocabulary checklist and reported their child's longest utterances. Results: NWR scores were moderately correlated with vocabulary and language. The ELD group had significantly lower NWR scores than peers, and 68% of the sample was classified correctly, with desirable sensitivity but inadequate specificity obtained. Conclusion: Findings from this study revealed developmental trends in Spanish-speaking toddlers' ability to repeat nonwords and that most toddlers were not able to repeat 4- and 5-syllable nonwords. Furthermore, Spanish-speaking children with ELD had more difficulties with NWR than typical peers. The diagnostic accuracy results indicated that the clinical use of a Spanish NWR task for toddlers can serve to detect early language-learning difficulties, especially if used as one of multiple diagnostic sources of information to establish ELD.

Coady JA, Evans JL: Uses and interpretations of non-word repetition tasks in children with and without specific language impairments (SLI). Int J Lang Commun Disord 2008;43:1-40.
Conti-Ramsden G, Hesketh A: Risk markers for SLI: a study of young language-learning children. Int J Lang Commun Disord 2003;38:251-263.
Gathercole SE: Nonword repetition and word learning: the nature of the relationship. Appl Psycholing 2006;27:513-543.
Guiberson M, Rodriguez BL: Classification accuracy of nonword repetition when used with preschool-age Spanish-speaking children. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 2013;44:121-132.
Hoff E, Core C, Bridges K: Non-word repetition assesses phonological memory and is related to vocabulary development in 20- to 24-month-olds. J Child Lang 2008;35:903-916.
Fenson L, Marksman V, Thal D, Dale P, Reznick J, Bates, E: MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories. Baltimore, Brookes, 2007.
Stokes SF, Moran C, George A: Nonword repetition and vocabulary use in toddlers. Top Lang Disord 2013;33:224-237.
Chiat S, Roy P: The preschool repetition test: an evaluation of performance in typically developing and clinically referred children. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2007;50:429-443.
Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JB, Bruns DE, Gatsonis CA, Glasziou PP, Irwig LM, Lijmer JG, Moher D, Rennie D, de Vet HC: Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative. Fam Pract 2003;21:4-10.
Law J, Boyle J, Harris F, Harkness A, Nye C: The feasibility of universal screening for primary speech and language delay: findings from a systematic review of the literature. Dev Med Child Neurol 2000;42:190-200.
Plante E, Vance R: Diagnostic accuracy of two tests of preschool language. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 1994;4:70-76.
Dollaghan CA: The Handbook for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders. Baltimore, Brookes, 2007.
Stokes SF, Klee T: The diagnostic accuracy of a new test of early nonword repetition for differentiating late talking and typically developing children. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2009;52:872-882.
Guiberson M, Banerjee R: Evaluating young children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds for special education services. Young Except Child 2012;15:33-45.
Leonard LB: Children with Specific Language Impairment. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1998.
Gutiérrez-Clellen V, Simon-Cereijido G: Using nonword repetition tasks for the identification of language impairment in Spanish-English-speaking children: does the language of assessment matter? Learn Disabil Res Pract 2010;25:48-58.
Girbau D, Schwartz RG: Non-word repetition in Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). Int J Lang Commun Disord 2007;42:59-75.
Guiberson M, Rodriguez B, Zajacova A: Accuracy of telehealth administered measures to screen language in Spanish-speaking preschoolers. Telemed J E Health 2015;21:714-720.
Gutiérrez-Clellen VF, Kreiter J: Understanding child bilingual acquisition using parent and teacher reports. Appl Psycholinguistics 2003;24:267-288.
Ebert KD, Kalanek J, Cordero KN, Kohnert K: Spanish nonword repetition: stimuli development and preliminary results. Commun Disord Q 2008;29:67-74.
Zimmerman IL, Steiner VG, Pond RE: Preschool Language Scales, ed 4. San Antonio, Harcourt Assessment, 2002.
Jackson-Maldonado D, Thal DJ, Fenson L, Marchman VA, Newton T, Conboy B: MacArthur Inventarios del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas. User's Guide and Technical Manual. Baltimore, Brookes, 2003.
Adams AM, Gathercole SE: Phonological working memory and speech production in preschool children. J Speech Lang Hear Res 1995;38:403-414.
Stokes SF, Wong AM, Fletcher P, Leonard LB: Nonword repetition and sentence repetition as clinical markers of specific language impairment: the case of Cantonese. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2006;49:219-236.
Guiberson M, Rodriguez B, Dale P: Classification accuracy of brief parent report measures of language development in Spanish-speaking toddlers. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 2011;42:536-549.
Torrington Eaton C, Newman RS, Ratner NB, Rowe ML: Non-word repetition in 2-year-olds: replication of an adapted paradigm and a useful methodological extension. Clin Linguist Phon 2015;29:523-535.
Fenson L, Dale PS, Reznick JS, Bates E, Thal DJ, Pethick SJ: Variability in early communicative development. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 1994;59:1-173, discussion 174-185.
Rutjes AW, Reitsma J, Coomarasamy A, Khan K, Bossuyt P: Evaluation of diagnostic tests when there is no gold standard. A review of methods. Health Technol Assess 2007;11:iii, ix-51.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.