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Nonword Repetition Tasks

Nonword Repetition Tasks (NWRT) can be used as a dynamic assessment as opposed to static assessment. NWRTs assess phonological working memory, speech perception, phonological assembly, and short term memory. These skills can have an impact on phonological awareness, word learning, and overall language acquisition. NWRTs are a useful tool to identify children/students with developmental language disorders because they are less culturally and linguistically biased than standardized language tests, as they do not call upon a child’s/student’s prior knowledge as many standardized tests do. Rather, NWRTs ask the child/student to repeat a series of nonwords of differing syllable length and complexity of sound combinations, thereby assessing linguistic abilities that have not been taught or learned previously. Nonword repetition tasks have been analyzed by number of consonants correct or number of items correct. There are different NWRTs for several languages, which contain phonemes specific for that particular language.

For more information on how to utilize NWRTs with children with and without language impairments, please watch the following videos from the Preschool Disability Evaluation modules:

Dynamic Assessment: Non-Word Repetition Task Part 1 – Using NWRT with a typically developing child and a low-average performing child

Dynamic Assessment: Non-Word Repetition Task Part 2 – Using NWRT with a child with a mild language delay and a child with a moderate-to-severe delay

Download: English NWRT Scoring Sheet, Dollaghan and Campbell, 1998

Download: Spanish NWRT Scoring Sheet, Gutierrez-Clellen and Simon-Cerejido, 2010

Download: Spanish NWRT Scoring Sheet, Kohnert, 2008