Projekt SPEAK-Phonology

Language Diagnosis in Multilingual Children: Validation of a Test Battery – Sub-project Phonology

The research project SPEAK-Phonology is a part of the joint project SPEAK ( This part of the project focuses on developing standard values for a nonword repetiton test that was specifically constructed with multilingual children in mind. Standard values will be calculated for multilingual children between the ages of 4 and 8 and will take their individual biographies of acquisition into account.

In 2022, almost every 10th child was diagnosed with a language or speech disorder that needs to be treated in order to prevent disadvantages in education. A lot of these children are multilingual. Multilingual children often expectably differ from monolingual peers in terms of linguistic performance, since they’re exposed to the German language less often. Their specific circumstances during language acquisition make it difficult to distinguish between language disorders requiring intervention, and the need for German language training. There is currently no standardized test for multilingual children that assesses all linguistic levels and takes their biography of language acquisition into account. The joint project SPEAK aims to standardize a battery of tests for multilingual children from 4 to 8 years (TEBIK 4-8) that meets these criteria, with the sub-project SPEAK-Phonology representing the pseudoword repetition test LITMUS-QU-NWR. This test was developed as part of an international project ( and focuses on the processing of phonological complexity. Validation studies show that the NWR can distinguish between multilingual children with and without a language disorder with a high certainty.