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Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - Fifth Edition (CELF-5)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals.
Supplemental: Cerebral Palsy (CP), Epilepsy, Mitochondrial Disease (Mito), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Neuromuscular Disease (NMD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Short Description of Instrument
The Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals® – Fifth Edition (CELF-5) consists of 16 stand-alone tests. Total administration time ranges from 30-45 minutes, depending on the age of the child and the specific combination of stand-alone tests that are given. CELF-5 has been developed to enable examiners to use group of items independently of the others. Each group of items that make up CELF-5 (such as, Linguistic Concepts, Semantic Relationships, and Understanding Spoken Paragraphs) is referred to as a test. The CELF-4 subtests included in the CELF-5 battery were broadened in scope; easier and harder items were added to more adequately cover the range of developmental skills. The linguistic concepts and directional concepts are now separated into two different tests. The Linguistic Concepts test is for ages 5–8 and the Following Directions test is for ages 5–21. There are five categories of scoring for the tests including: Scaled Score, Standard Score (Composite), Test-Age Equivalent, Criterion Cut Score, and Growth Scale Value. CELF-5 maintains standardized test scores and composite scores (Core Language and Index scores). Growth Scale Values have been added to help measure progress over time. In previous versions of CELF, each group of test items assessing a specific language skill was called a subtest. There are also several content scores, including Expressive Language, Receptive Language, Language Content, and Language Structure scores that are derived from various stand- alone test combinations. The assessment can be tailored to a the clinical or research question, and not all subtests need to be administered to preserve the technical properties of the index scores.
The CELF-5 was published in Fall 2013. There is limited literature on which to make a strong recommendation. A Spanish version is expected to be released in 2017 or 2018.
Time Estimate: 30–45 minutes, depending on stand-alone test combination selected
Vendor: Pearson/PsychCorp, P.O. Box 599700, San Antonio, TX 78259.
Comments/Special Instructions
Examiners should have training in administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical instruments. Administration time is 30–45 minutes. The test can also be scored by Q- global Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting.
This test is for ages 5:0–21:11.
Scoring Estimate: 30 minutes; in addition to manual scoring, CELF-5 is available on Q- global™, a web-based scoring and reporting platform.
Primary Dependent Measure: Core Language Score
Secondary Dependent Measures: Receptive Language Index, Expressive Language Index, Language Content Index, Language Structure Index, and Language Memory Index score (LMI)
The CELF-5 provides standardized scores for Core Language, Receptive Language, Expressive Language, Language Content, and Language Memory. The standard score for the Core Language Score and Index Scores are based on a mean of 100 with a standard deviation of 15.
The CELF-4 is a recommended supplemental measure. More research is warranted regarding this 5th version.
Wiig EH, Semel E, Secord WA. Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals® - Fifth Edition (CELF®-5) [Internet]. San Antonio, TX: Pearson Clinical Inc. 2013 [cited 23 June 2016]. Available from: language-fundamentals-fifth-edition-celf-5.html.
Semel W, Wiig E, & Secord W. Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (Fourth ed.). Pearson Assessments: San Antonio, TX, 2003.
Wiig E, Secord W, & Semel W.  Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (Spanish ed.). Pearson Assessments: San Antonio, TX, 2005.
Hanten G, Li X, Newsome MR, Swank PR, Chapman SB, Dennis M, Barnes M, Ewing- Cobbs L, Levin HS. Oral Reading and Expressive Language After Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury Trajectory and Correlates of Change Over Time. Top Lang Disorders. 2009;29(3):236-248.
Taylor HG, Swartwout MD, Yeates KO, Walz NC, Stancin T, Wade SL. Traumatic brain injury in young children: postacute effects on cognitive and school readiness skills. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2008;14(5):734-745.


Document last updated July 2019
Recommended Instrument for
CP, Epilepsy, Mito, MS, NMD, and TBI