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Inside Scoop

Welcome to our Connections Learning® colleagues!


Q: What is the Pearson Connections Learning business?

A: Connections Learning® by Pearson is a division of Connections Education®, an accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education solutions for students in grade K–12.

Q. How do SLPs fit into this business?

Connections Learning LiveSpeech® program provides services to students attending Connections Academy® virtual public schools in grades K-12. LiveSpeech speech-language pathologists work from home using interactive web conferencing software to connect with their students in various states across the country.

Q. How many SLPs work in the LiveSpeech program and where are they located?

There are currently 60 SLPs in the LiveSpeech program, living in 21 different states.

Q. What is one key idea the team would like other SLPs to know about your particular group?

Our Connections LiveSpeech® team is a group of very professional and supportive SLPs and staff. Our SLPs are well-trained in the use of telepractice as a service delivery model before working with their students and receive ongoing support from their supervisors. We try to maintain a team approach by connecting as a group at least twice per month. If you are interested in joining our team, visit the website, and search for "speech."

CELF®-5 : Test Objectives and Descriptions


Take a deeper dive into the new CELF-5.

Click here to view

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

CELF®-5 Diagnostic Battery Information


 Click the links below to read specific diagnostic battery information about the new CELF-5.

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com
Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

The CELF-5 Assessment Process


CELF-5 assessment process reflects current trends in the field. In addition to managing full time caseloads, SLPs are increasingly collaborating with classroom teachers, psychologists and other specialists to identify supports for students having difficulty meeting curriculum objectives. Often this involves examining the link between the student’s oral and written language skills, with the SLP working with the classroom teacher to plan and implement activities in a Response to Intervention framework.

In addition, there is increased focus on social language skills in mainstream classrooms (e.g., social/behavioral targets in core curriculum). In addition, increasing numbers of students with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are being referred for examination of social language skills. The expanded look at pragmatic language skills and the addition of written language tests in CELF-5 reflects these trends.

CELF-5 Assessment Model

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

Specific CELF-5 Test Updates


Pragmatics Profile

The new CELF-5 now offers scaled scores (with a mean of 10 and standard deviation of 3) for students age 5-21 years. In addition, the Pragmatics Profile offers new information about social communication differences related to cultural/linguistic diversity and response processes. The administration directions for the Profile provide examples of appropriate responses students from Hispanic, African-American, Asian, and American Indian cultures

New! Pragmatics Activities Checklist

The Pragmatics Activities Checklist is a new test that can be used to evaluate a student’s social communication challenges. This test consists of interactive activities that you can use as “break” during testing or in a separate session. The test offers a choice of six social interaction activities. You choose three that you think will engage the student—activities such as having a snack together, recommending a gift for a person who is the same age as the student, or making a paper airplane or card together. You rate the nonverbal and verbal behaviors you observed after the session is over and the student has left the room. Examples of some nonverbal behaviors you may observe include:

  • Did not look where the speaker pointed
  • Did not look at object/person named by speaker
  • Did not coordinate gaze with speaker’s gaze
  • Did not respect the personal space of others when communicating

Norm-based criterion scores enable you to compare a student’s behaviors to typically developing students.

Written Language

CELF-5 includes two tests that provide a streamlined way of obtaining information about a student’s written language skills: Reading Comprehension and Structured Writing. These tests are available for students ages 8-21 years. In the Reading Comprehension test, the student reads two passages and answers questions related to main idea, details, making inferences, and sequence of events. These are the same areas tested in the Listening to Spoken Paragraphs test, which enables you to compare performance across oral and written modalities.

Structured Writing

The Structured Writing test features a writing task has an introductory sentence, followed by a partial sentence. The student completes the partial sentence, then writes 1 to 3 additional sentences. These tests provide you with initial information about the underlying language base of reading and writing information that enables you to begin conversations with the student’s classroom teacher and reading specialist about the student’s skills in the classroom.

CELF-4 Subtests Deleted from CELF-5

Market research conducted with customers showed strong interest in having more information about pragmatic language skills and written language. While certain CELF-4 subtests provided valuable information to answer questions about specific students, there were several tests used less frequently than the core subtests.

So that the CELF-5 battery would not consist of 23 subtests, the following subtests were deleted from CELF-5:

  • Working Memory tests: Number Repetition and Familiar Sequences. It is recommended that you work closely with a psychologist, who can work with you to thoroughly evaluate the effects of attention, working memory, and behavior on language processing. Language Memory tests are still included in the CELF-5 battery so that you can examine the effect of memory on language skills.
  • Word Definitions
  • Rapid Automatic Naming
  • Phonological Awareness

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

CELF®-5: New Ways to Assess Pragmatics and New Digital Kit Option


New Ways to Assess Pragmatics

Unlike many other assessments of pragmatic language skills, the CELF®-5 Pragmatics tests are observation- and interaction-based tools that enable you to examine the student’s behaviors during everyday activities. The Pragmatics tests include one norm-referenced measure (the Pragmatics Profile, now with scaled scores by age) and one norm-based criterion score measure (the new Pragmatics Activities Checklist). The Pragmatics Profile is completed by parents or teachers to rate the student’s verbal and nonverbal social communication skills. If you determine that the student needs intervention, you will want to engage the student in the activities listed in the Pragmatics Activities Checklist. The activities can be presented as “breaks” during CELF-5 testing (or can be done anytime after testing is completed.) After the student leaves the room, you can review the list of common atypical social communication behaviors and identify those you observed during the activities.

New Digital Kit Option

For the first time, Pearson is offering both print and digital kit options. For both, you would continue to use paper record forms to record a student’s responses. The digital kit option includes a flash drive that you insert into the USB port in your desktop or laptop. The flash drive includes a digital version of all the manuals: Examiner’s Manual, Technical Manual, and the test stimuli from the two print Stimulus Books. You can print selected pages of the Administration Directions (if needed) before testing. You can search for specific information, highlight text, and bookmark sections you use frequently (e.g. Formulated Sentences scoring, norms tables). During testing, you can show the visual stimuli to the student on the screen of your desktop or laptop.

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

CELF®-5 Pragmatics Profile


If a parent or teacher has concerns about a student’s interpersonal skills, with the new CELF-5 Pragmatics Profile, you can now obtain more information about the student’s social communication abilities. You may observe the student in the classroom or during testing to complete the Pragmatics Profile (which now offers scaled scores by age). If you want to examine the behaviors that cause the student difficulty in everyday social interactions, you can engage the student in interactive situations as a “break” during testing. Select three of six activities from the new Pragmatics Activities Checklist. Activity options include conversational opportunities like recommending a gift for a friend or having a snack. The clinician focuses on the interaction and records the student’s responses after the testing session is over and the student has left the room.

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

CELF®-5 standardization testing ended in December


We would like to thank the over 450 speech-language pathologists throughout the United States who worked so hard identifying and testing appropriate candidates for the standardization and related studies! Our development staff is busy analyzing standardization data. Scaled scores will now be available for the Pragmatics Profile, as well as the new Reading Comprehension and Writing tests.

For more CELF-5 information, please visit CELF5Family.PearsonClinical.com

Sign up to receive CELF-5 updates here.

2012 ASHA Convention Recap


It only feels like another lifetime, right? For those of you who were able to attend the ASHA Convention in Atlanta last fall, I hope you’re still pondering all the learning and reminiscing about the interactions. I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for, well, weeks. Chalk it up to end-of-year deadlines, a little procrastination, and the holidays. I imagine I’m probably in good company on that front. So, Happy New Year to all!

Truthfully, the procrastination part probably had the most to do with it (here’s to admitting it!). How would I capture this particular ASHA? I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was prompting my writer’s block until now. “Atlanta 2012” was my 17th ASHA Convention. It’s a little hard to believe. Certainly, some of you have been to many more than I have, some far less. What stands out for me this year? That’s what I’ve been pondering.

My schedule at an ASHA tends to be a little nuts—this year seemed even more so. If you attended, you might have noticed the Pearson footprint in various places among events, sessions, and of course, in the Exhibit Hall. Pearson has made a strong commitment to our profession, and that means we (and especially the six SLPs who work in our Clinical Assessment business unit—soon to be seven, we hope!) [link to RD posting here] want to learn from and support many different parts of our profession. In addition, I can’t remember a better Opening Session and Awards Ceremony set of events. Maya Angelou, the Glenns, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly—ASHA hit a home run this year on that front.

But there has to be something more than the schedule and the events, and of course our ever-present marketing in the Exhibit Hall. [link to ASHA page on snl.com] What did I take away from the content of the meetings? In a word, transformation. Or, more to the point, our need as a profession to transform. We’re in the midst of a very disruptive and necessary digital transformation in the publishing world, and yet our profession needs the same thing. Where did I see evidence of this need? At the Academic Researcher Town Hall meeting where Alex Johnson and other colleagues discussed the need for transformation in clinical education. At the over-flowing sessions where professionals hungrily consumed information on apps and tech tools for practice (and the appropriate use of them). At the Council of State Association Presidents (CSAP) meeting where we discussed SLPA practice and supervision, among other things. At the sessions on RTI, which has been around for a while now, where colleagues still struggle with balancing “traditional” and “nontraditional” practice models in their desire to transform how they support students—and also have to explain, justify and get support from administrators. There are many, many more examples.

In some ways, one might think that working as an SLP at Pearson is a “safe haven” from all of this need to transform as a clinician. No, I don’t have to file for reimbursement. I don’t have to juggle a caseload of 65 and then all the general ed students I might be serving. I don’t have to directly supervise other professionals and their day-to-day or even moment-to-moment work. And yet I do. To be effective and responsible in the products and services we bring to the profession, I need to proverbially be kept awake at night by the things that keep you awake at night. My ever-recurring question is, “What is the role of industry—of the publisher, of Pearson—in this area?” Sometimes the answers are clear, sometimes not. My takeaway this year is that I need to keep transforming my own thinking about the work we do. It’s tough and exciting…but a creative challenge is part of our fabric as SLPs, isn’t it? I believe so.

Again, Happy New Year—here’s to a transformative 2013!

ASHA Schools Recap


The ASHA Schools Conference was held in Milwaukee, WI this year—land of cheese and beer! Not being much of a beer drinker, I didn’t get that benefit from my visit, but the cheese curds were delightful! Jennifer Abrams, the opening session speaker, presented “Finding Your Voice for What Matters Most.” She emphasized how each one of us can be the voice of change when advocating for individuals with communication disorders. Her “quick scripts for having hard conversations” will come in handy when interacting with parents, supervisors, and co-workers to help everyone work well with others to enable positive, productive change.

Presentations throughout the three days covered many topics, ranging from assessment and intervention for diverse students (e.g. autism, culture of poverty), technology, autism, school funding, fluency, swallowing—too many to cover in a brief update. Several of our Pearson authors presented, including Joan Arvedson (co-author of Pediatric Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies), Craig Coleman (who collaborated with Scott Yaruss on the age 7-17 sections of the OASES), and Laura Justice (editor of our latest volume of EBP Briefs). Each registrant at the conference received a free copy of Volume 6 of EBP Briefs, a journal showing how any SLP can integrate evidence-based practice in their daily work with students.