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Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Preschool-3 (CELF Preschool-3)

The CELF Preschool-3 assessment consists of a variety of subtests that comprehensively assess various aspects of both receptive and expressive language skills. The test is aimed at pre-school and early years children who are in an academic-oriented setting.

It’s an updated version of P-CELF 2 with updated test items and art, more digital options, a connected speech subtest and a pragmatics activities checklist, an academic language readiness index and emerging literacy index.

Like the CELF-5, this assessment provides a range of subtests so that a child’s language and communication strengths and weaknesses can be identified, and the outcomes should inform relevant recommendations for intervention.

Age range

3–6 years, 11 months

Who can use it?

Speech and language therapists and educational psychologists. Teachers need a master’s degree in education, or a linked subject, to be able to order the assessment.

How is it used?

Detailed instructions on how to carry out the individual subtests can be found in the manual. It has web-based administration and scoring or manual scoring.

What can it tell us?

  • The child’s level of ability on a range of different language tasks.
  • It provides a core language score; receptive and expressive language index scores; expressive language, language content, and language structure index scores; standard scores, percentile ranks, age equivalents, and growth scores.


  • A very wide range of subtests are available, making an in-depth assessment possible. It’s designed to indicate whether or not a child has a language disorder, the nature of the disorder, early classroom and literacy fundamentals and communication in context.
  • Well and recently standardised and an appropriate tool to measure progress over time and evaluate intervention programmes.
  • Can be used to help with target setting.
  • Has Spanish version.


  • Depending upon how many subtests are carried out, it may take some time.
  • The recalling sentences in context subtest is one of the expressive language tests. Hearing children generally repeat sentences back, but include errors in grammar that they would make if speaking. The perception of the stimulus is not an issue for hearing children. For deaf children, the perception of the stimulus can be a big problem and it can be this that limits their score, meaning that it is often more depressed than their scores on other subtests and we need to be aware of this.

Is there a cost? 


Where can I access it?

You can currently only access the assessment on Pearson’s USA website