Social development of the Adolescent : Social Development

Social development of the Adolescent


Test Purpose
The Social Language Development Test Adolescent is a standardized test of social language skills that focus on social interpretation and interaction with peers. Tasks require students to take someone's perspective, make correct inferences, solve problems with peers, interpret social language, and understand idioms, irony, and sarcasm. This ground-breaking test shows statistically-significant age progression and focuses on skills proven to be deeply sensitive to the subtle aspects of social language development.

Test Description
The SLDT A is a diagnostic test of social language skills for adolescents. It assesses students' language-based responses to portrayed, peer-to-peer situations. The test differentiates typically-developing adolescents from those with language learning disorders or autism. There are five subtests with 12 items each: Making Inferences, Interpreting Social Language, Problem Solving, Social Interpretation, and Interpreting Ironic Statements. Test stimuli include photographs, scenarios presented verbally by the examiner, and audio recordings of a CD.


  • Subtest A: Making Inferences
    The first question asks the student to take the perspective of someone in a photograph and, based on the context clues (facial expression, gesture, posture), tell what the person is thinking as a direct quote from the character. The comment must relate to the character's age, any context clues, and the emotional intensity of the character's expression and posture. The second question asks the student to identify the relevant visual clues suggesting the character's thought.
  • Subtest B: Interpreting Social Language
    This subtest examines the student's social metalinguistic skills. The questions are designed to tap a variety of skills that reflect how people communicate:
  • demonstrate an action and tell an appropriate reason or use for that action
  • give an example or definition
  • interpret an idiom used in a short vignette
  • Subtest C: Problem Solving (Stating and Justifying Solutions)
    The student imagines being in a problem situation with a friend and is asked to propose an appropriate, logical solution and justifies why that solution would be a good one.
  • Subtest D: Social Interaction
    This subtest asks the student to assume the perspective of a main character in a situation with a peer, consider the perspective of the peer, and make a comment or do something to support the peer.
  • Subtest E: Interpreting Ironic Statements
    The student listens to a situation on an audio CD and shows an understanding of the dialogue, including idioms, and interprets its irony and sarcasm. The student must understand the intention of the speaker and use the context clues from the story to explain irony and sarcasm.
  • Examiner Qualifications
    The test should be administered by a trained professional familiar with language disorders (e.g., speech-language pathologist, psychologist) because careful interpretation of the responses is required.

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