Moving Beyond Single Word Acquisition of Speech Sounds to Connected Speech Development With Dynamic Assessment

Amy M. Glaspey, Jenica J. Wilson, Justin D. Reeder, Wei Chen Tseng, Andrea A.N. Macleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to document speech sound development across early childhood from a dynamic assessment (DA) perspective that captures a breadth of linguistic environments using the Glaspey Dynamic Assessment of Phonology (Glaspey, 2019), as well as to provide normative data for speech-language pathologists to compare speech skills when making clinical decisions and provide historical context. Targets of English were evaluated via DA for the (a) age of acquisition in single words; (b) continued development through connected speech; (c) early, mid, and late sequence; and (d) differences between single word and connected speech productions. Method: Data were extracted from the reported results of the norming study for the Glaspey Dynamic Assessment of Phonology, which included a representative sample of 880 children ages 3 years to 10;11 (years;months). Comparisons were made with 49 items including multisyllabic words, clusters, and phonemes of English across word positions. Results: Assessment with DA showed that acquisition in single words is nearly complete by age 6 years with a 90% mastery level, and the sequence suggests an Early-13, Mid-16, and Late-14 for items by word position. In connected speech, a wider range of progression is evident from the emergence of sound production at 50%, 75%, and 90% mastery levels with observed changes between ages 3 and 10 years. Conclusions: Given a DA approach across connected linguistic environments, children continue to progress in their development of speech sounds from early childhood well into their school-age years and for some sounds beyond the age of 10 years. DA challenges the language system to better reflect children’s developmental progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-524
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


This article is based on data previously published in the Glaspey Dynamic Assessment of Phonology (Glaspey, 2019). Portions of these findings were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the International Child Phonology Conference. The authors would like to thank the examiners and children who participated in the norming study for the Glaspey Dynamic Assessment of Phonology. The authors also acknowledge and appreciate the additional support for this project from Jim Arena, Stacy Frauwirth, Jill Inglish, Michael Amsler, Jessica Pescini, Ann Rizzuto, and ATP Assessments.

FundersFunder number
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


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