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The Test for Reception of Grammar, Second Edition (TROG-2)

  • Test of understanding of English grammatical contrasts marked by inflections, function words and word order.
  • TROG-2 has also been found to be useful for deaf children, and children with specific language impairment, physical handicaps, learning difficulties or acquired aphasia. Research studies on its use with these client groups are listed in the test manual.
  • Consists of 80 four-choice items and uses simple vocabulary. The child has to decide which picture, out of the choice of four, goes with a sentence which is read aloud.

Age range

4 years–adult

Who can use it?

Speech and language therapists, psychologists and Teachers of the Deaf.

How is it used?

  • The manual gives very specific instructions for administration. The child looks at the four pictures, then listens to the tester reading a sentence out loud and chooses which picture is correct.
  • Guidelines are given for starting points with hearing children – but when carrying out the test with a deaf child you should consider their general language level, not their chronological age.
  • The child’s response is recorded on the score sheet provided. It’s important to record which picture the child points to – as errors may show consistent patterns. For example, they always interpret passive sentences as active sentences.
  • Items come in blocks of four. To pass a block the child must get all four items correct.
  • Discontinue testing once the child has failed five consecutive blocks.
  • There are two practice items that you can give feedback on. Once the test has begun, you must not indicate to the child whether their response was correct or incorrect. Giving general encouragement (e.g. “good”, “you are concentrating well”, etc.) is allowed.
  • Once the test is completed, it is possible to generate an age-equivalent, a standard score and a percentile rank. (See pages 22–28 in the manual for a full explanation of how to do this.)
  • The assessment should take about 20 minutes to carry out.

What can it tell us?

  • An age-equivalent, standard score and percentile rank for understanding of English grammatical structures.
  • It may be useful in highlighting specific structures with which a child is having difficulty (e.g. does not understand comparatives).
  • Some information on the child’s ability to speech read/decode short sentences where a forced choice of possible meanings is available.

What about children who sign?

This is a test of English grammar and isn’t appropriate for use with children who use BSL. If it’s translated into BSL, the age equivalents and standard scores etc are not valid. For example, there is no passive sentence structure in BSL. The receptive skills BSL test would be much more suitable for use with children who use BSL.

If a child uses Sign Supported English (SSE) to help their understanding, then you might want to administer the items using this form of presentation. You must report that you have done this when feeding back on results, however, as it would mean that the standardisation information is no longer valid.

It’s also possible to compare how a child does when the test is carried out orally versus with SSE but you’ll need to think very carefully about how this is done. The child is likely to realise that they’ve got an item wrong and so point to an alternative picture if you immediately repeat a test item, meaning that they might well pass more items, but not because of the way in which the test was carried out. You could re-administer whole blocks or the whole test on a different day using a different form of presentation but would need to leave a reasonable amount of time in between tests.

You could also probe a child’s understanding of a certain sentence structure type with SSE using your own pictures and different items that follow the same pattern. Using the test in this way invalidates the outcome and provides only a narrative result, although this information can be useful in itself as an informal teacher assessment.

Pros    

  • Quick and easy. It takes 10-20 minutes.
  • Can be used to measure progress from one year to the next.
  • It’s well standardised.

Cons   

  • Only assesses understanding of a restricted range of 20 grammatical structures. You would need other assessment tools to find out about other aspects of understanding, e.g. understanding of vocabulary, concepts, non-literal language, longer pieces of information, etc.
  • Need to take care to highlight that it compares the child to their hearing peers.
  • Sometimes children are ‘taught’ the items on the test as part of their targets and their performance on this particular assessment is much greater than on any other assessment tool and is actually an over-estimation of true ability.
  • Some children spot the four to a block pattern and use this to help them.
  • Does not assess the child’s understanding in a classroom or in general conversations, as there are no forced choices in these situations and different aspects of language occur. In a classroom, there is also the issue of competing background noise.
  • Cannot be translated into BSL.

Is there a cost? 

Yes.

Where can I access it?

You can access this assessment on the Pearson Clinical website.