Preschool Language Scales, Fifth Edition (PLS-5)

PLS-5 is a comprehensive developmental language assessment designed for children from ages birth through 7:11 that evaluates pre-verbal skills through emerging reading skills. This assessment focuses on receptive and expressive language skills and provides both norm-referenced and criterion-referenced scores. The diagnostic test can be administered by a trained professional. PLS-5 also offers screening tests for a broad spectrum of speech and language skills and a diagnostic test to identify students at risk for language and speech disorders. The tests can be administered in English and Spanish. 


Speaking & Listening

Auditory Comprehension; Expressive Communication; Semantics; Emergent Literacy Skills

< 3 Years,
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade

Administration Information

45-60 minutes

Purchasing requires a master's degree in psychology, education, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, social work, counseling, or field related to assessment, and formal training in the ethical administration.


Access and Use


PLS-5 Complete Kit with Manipulatives (Includes: Examiner’s Manual, Administration Scoring Manual, Picture Manual, 15 Record Forms, 25 Home Communication Questionnaire, and Complete Manipulatives Kit): $415

PLS-5 Basic Kit (Includes: Examiner’s Manual, Administration Scoring Manual, Picture Manual, 15 Record Forms, 25 Home Communication Questionnaires), and Complete Manipulatives Kit): $340 

PLS-5 Combo Kit (English/Spanish) (Includes: Examiner’s Manual, Picture Manual, Administration/Scoring Manual, 25 Home Communication Questionnaires, and 15 Record Forms): $657.90

PSL-5 Combo Kit (English/Spanish) with Manipulatives (Includes: English and Spanish Examiner’s Manuals, English and Spanish Picture Manuals, English and Spanish Administration/Scoring Manuals, English and Spanish Home Communication Questionnaires (25 each), English and Spanish (bilingual) Record Forms (15 each), and Manipulatives set): $719.10



Open Access
Use in Research

Studies on Preschool Language Scales: Cupples, L., Ching, T. Y. C., Leigh, G., Martin, L., Gunnourie, M., Button, L., … Van Buynder, P. (2018). Language Development in Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Children with Additional Disabilities: Type Matters! Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 62(6), 532–543.

Seager, E., & Abbot-Smith, K. (2017). Can Early Years Professionals Determine Which Preschoolers Have Comprehension Delays? A Comparison of Two Screening Tools. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 33(1), 67–79. 

Daub, O., Bagatto, M. P., Johnson, A. M., & Cardy, J. O. (2017). Language Outcomes in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Role of Language Ability before Hearing Aid Intervention. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(11), 3310–3320.

Abel, A. D., Schuele, C. M., Arndt, K. B., Lee, M. W., & Blankenship, K. G. (2017). Another Look at the Influence of Maternal Education on Preschoolers’ Performance on Two Norm-Referenced Measures. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 38(4), 231–241.

DesJardin, J. L., Doll, E. R., Stika, C. J., Eisenberg, L. S., Johnson, K. J., Ganguly, D. H., … Henning, S. C. (2014). Parental Support for Language Development during Joint Book Reading for Young Children with Hearing Loss. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 35(3), 167–181.

Rodriguez, B. L., & Guiberson, M. (2011). Using a Teacher Rating Scale of Language and Literacy Skills with Preschool Children of English-Speaking, Spanish-Speaking, and Bilingual Backgrounds. Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(5), 303–311.

Bennett, T. A., Szatmari, P., Georgiades, K., Hanna, S., Janus, M., Georgiades, S., … Thompson, A. (2015). Do Reciprocal Associations Exist between Social and Language Pathways in Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(8), 874–883.

Conway, L. J., Levickis, P. A., Mensah, F., McKean, C., Smith, K., & Reilly, S. (2017). Associations between Expressive and Receptive Language and Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviours in a Community-Based Prospective Study of Slow-to-Talk Toddlers. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 52(6), 839–853.

Mendelsohn, A. L., Brockmeyer, C. A., Dreyer, B. P., Fierman, A. H., Berkule-Silberman, S. B., & Tomopoulos, S. (2010). Do Verbal Interactions with Infants during Electronic Media Exposure Mitigate Adverse Impacts on Their Language Development as Toddlers? Infant and Child Development, 19(6), 577–593.

Meinzen-Derr, J., Wiley, S., Grether, S., & Choo, D. I. (2011). Children with Cochlear Implants and Developmental Disabilities: A Language Skills Study with Developmentally Matched Hearing Peers. Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 32(2), 757–767.


Manual scoring
Psychometric References

Smith, K. (2014, October 28). PLS-5 Validity Study – A Comparison of Test Scores. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from…

Leaders. (2013). Test Review: Preschool Language Scales-Fifth Edition. Retrieved from…

Qi, C. H., & Marley, S. C. (2011). Validity Study of the “Preschool Language Scale-4” with English-Speaking Hispanic and European American Children in Head Start Programs. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 31(2), 89–98.

National Comparison