This course is a podcast episode

You can listen to this course for free on most podcast players (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.). Once you have listened to the episode / course you can access the post-test and earn your certificate / ASHA CEUs using the links above.


This handout is provided by Dr. Trina Spencer and Dr. Doug Petersen. It is offered for free.

  • Free

    Handout: Screening and Progress Monitoring of Language


Course Description and Learning Objectives

You’re an awesome school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP), the resident language expert, the speech closet hostess with the mostest.  You’re chugging along, doing your assessment thing, determining eligibility here, pushing into the classroom there, pulling kids out, chattin’ with the teacher- you’ve got this! Then BAM!! This episode comes out of nowhere and reveals an unknown blind spot in our educational system, putting a serious snag in your assessment status quo.  No worries, the Nerds and their experts have your back!  

This week, Dr. Trina Spencer and Dr. Doug Peterson step up once again with an eye-opening follow-up to their previous episodes on dynamic assessment (DA) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) for language assessment and intervention in schools. Tune in to go the extra MTSS and DA mile and learn about your essential role in the screening and prevention domain, an area of SLP not often explored, but so essential to a student’s academic success. You’ll drive away with a better understanding of the roles of language assessment beyond eligibility determination, along with (free but fabulous) tools you’ll need to adjust for that screening blindspot and to help your education team set students up for language (and therein, academic) success. There’s free stuff, witty banter, soap boxes, and MacGyvering. Don’t miss out!

You can learn more about Trina and Doug here.

Learning Outcomes

  1. List the purpose of assessment and identify those necessary for MTSS.

  2. Describe the characteristics of curriculum-based measures.

  3. Explain how/why oral narrative retells are appropriate for screening and progress monitoring of language.

Course Presenters

Doug Petersen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Douglas Petersen is a Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University. His research focuses on child language and literacy, with a particular emphasis on learning potential. His psychometric research examines the validity and reliability of dynamic assessments and progress monitoring procedures for language and literacy. His intervention research is focused on examining the efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation of multi-tiered systems of language support.

Trina Spencer, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Spencer is an Associate Professor at the Rightpath Research & Innovation Center at University of South Florida. She earned a specialist degree in School Psychology and a PhD in Disability Disciplines with emphases in language and literacy and early childhood special education. Her publications and editorial service span a number of disciplines including applied behavior analysis, speech-language pathology, early childhood education, special education, applied linguistics, and school psychology. Benefitting from strong collaborations with practitioners and other researchers, Dr. Spencer maintains a spirited research agenda to improve the academic and social outcomes of the nation’s most vulnerable students.

SLP/BCBA; SLP Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Speaker Disclosures

Dr. Petersen financial disclosures: Dr. Petersen is a co-authors of the Story Champs curriculum and PEARL dynamic assessment. They receive royalties from the sales of those items. Dr. Petersen has no financial relationships to disclose.

Dr. Spencer financial disclosures: Dr. Spencer is a co-authors of the Story Champs curriculum and PEARL dynamic assessment. They receive royalties from the sales of those items. Dr. Spencer has no financial relationships to disclose.

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.  Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures:  Amy is an employee of a public school system and co-founder for SLP Nerdcast.   Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children.


Petersen, D. B., Spencer, T. D., Konishi, A., Sellars, T. P., Robertson, D., & Foster, M. E. (2020). Using parallel, narrative-based measures to examine the relationship between listening and reading comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 1097-1111. 

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2014). Narrative assessment and intervention: A clinical tutorial on extending explicit language instruction and progress monitoring to all students. Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, 21, 5-21. 

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2012). The Narrative Language Measures: Tools for language screening, progress monitoring, and intervention planning. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 19(4), 119-129.

Time Ordered Agenda 

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Descriptions of the purpose of assessment and identify those necessary for MTSS

15 minutes:  Descriptions of the characteristics of curriculum-based measures. 

10 minutes:  Descriptions of oral narrative retells are appropriate for screening and progress monitoring of language

5 minutes: Summary and Closing


The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! Wed love to hear from you!


Summary Written by Tanna Neufeld, MS, CCC-SLP, Contributing Editor

Audio File Editing provided by Caitlan Akier, MA, CCC-SLP/L, Contributing Editor

Promotional Content provided by Ashley Sturgis, MA, CCC-SLP, Contributing Editor 

Web Editing provided by Sinead Rogazzo, MS, CCC-SLP, Contributing Editor


We also direct you to...

the free webinars and trainings available through Language Dynamics Group.