Delayed comprehension is a key indicator of whether children between the age of two and three years are likely to go on to have language difficulties or whether they are just a 'late-bloomer'. A standardised score using the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales helps explain these 'hidden difficulties' to parents, where they may previously only have been aware of the lack of speech output.
Helen Marlow, Clinical tutor at the University of Reading's School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences

NRDLS Quick Reference Guide

  • Age Range: 2-7 years
  • Suitable for: Speech & Language Therapists
  • Test duration: 35-60 minutes
  • Test format: Paper

New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS)

A new edition of the widely-used assessment for identifying speech and language delays and impairments in very young children.

The New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS) is the fourth edition of the most widely-used and highly regarded assessment tools for identifying speech and language delays and impairments in very young children. The Scales have been revised, improved and newly standardised on more than 1,200 children in the UK - making it up-to-date in terms of both good practice and the latest research. 

The Reynell Developmental Language Scales have been widely used for many years by clinicians, educationalists and researchers as a means of gaining an overview of child’s language ability, for guiding intervention and to evaluate the effectiveness of those interventions. It is accepted as a reliable tool of assessment and is highly regarded in research, medical and educational circles as well as by speech and language therapists.

This fourth edition retains a mix of play-based activities with a range of stimulus material which includes a trio of new appealing characters that children can handle and ‘direct’ as they carry out many of the assessment tasks. Attractive, full colour illustrations add to the appeal of the NRDLS.

Suitable for children aged 3 years to 7 years 6 months, the NRDLS provides diagnostic information about a child’s production and understanding of spoken language. A highlight of the many benefits of the new edition is the Multilingual Toolkit, an additional handbook giving guidance on how to adapt and use the NRDLS with children for whom English is an Additional Language.

The Comprehension and Production Scales

As in the previous editions, there are two scales in the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales: one explores aspects of a child’s understanding of selected vocabulary items and grammatical features (the Comprehension Scale); and the other examines the child’s production of the same features of language (the Production Scale). Parallel sections within the scales aid comparison of a child’s comprehension and production skills.

Why use the NRDLS?

  • NRDLS is the most widely used assessment for identifying speech and language delays and impairments in young children
  • The assessment content has been revised in line with the latest research and practice
  • NRDLS has been standardised on a sample of 1,200 children in the United Kingdom
  • The assessment tests both production and understanding of language – abilities that are key to child development
  • Less stimulus items make NRDLS quicker and more straightforward to administer, with full colour illustrations presented in an easy-to-use easel format
  • The Comprehension Scale and the Production Scale have been more closely aligned for easier comparison of the two skill sets
  • The play-based format has been retained with appealing and engaging stimulus material, including the characters of monkey, teddy and rabbit.