Interpretation of errors made by Mandarin-speaking children on the Preschool Language Scales - 5th edition screening test

Yonggang Ren*, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Shirley Wyver, Amber Hinton, Katherine Demuth

*Corresponding author for this work

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    We investigated typical errors made by Mandarin-speaking children when measured by the Preschool Language Scales-fifth edition, Screening Test (PLS-5 Screening Test). The intention was to provide preliminary data for the development of a guideline for early childhood educators and psychologists who use the test with Mandarin-speaking children. Seventy-one Mandarin-speaking children aged 36-69 months from 15 childcare centres in northwest Sydney participated in the study. The children all had typically developing Mandarin competence as screened by a standardised Mandarin test. The results were consistent with our hypotheses. That is, due to linguistic differences between Mandarin and English, and Chinese children’s general low level of autonomy, the most challenging areas on the PLS-5 Screening Test were production of word final consonants which do not occur in Mandarin, the use of plurals, personal pronouns, and language items embedded with autonomy. Children’s overall performance on the test improved when their time attending English speaking childcare increased. The results are discussed with reference to implications for psychologists and childcare educators working with Mandarin-speaking children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-34
    Number of pages11
    JournalAustralian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Publisher 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Mandarin-speaking children
    • PLS-5 Screening Test
    • phonemes
    • plurals
    • pronouns


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