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Language Curriculum – Referenced Assessment (LCRA)

The Language Curriculum – Referenced Assessment (LCRA; Cannon, Johnsen, Malone, Walsh, & Fagan, 2002) is a criterion-referenced assessment instrument that uses the language areas of listening comprehension, oral expression, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics to identify areas of strengths and challenges. It is recommended that the LCRA be administered by an SLP knowledgeable about typical language development and disorders of listening comprehension, oral expression, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.


The LCRA enables the SLP to define meaningful Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS)- based objectives for each student with identified language deficits. The assessment instrument is designed to identify mastered and unmastered skills and processes, not age-level performance. Therefore, it is recommended that parents be advised of developmental skill strengths and needs in communication skills rather than the student’s performance at a particular grade level. The authors suggest that standardized assessment results may be helpful to parents and teachers in understanding how a student is performing relative to other children his or her age. The LCRA is designed to be administered with students ages 3 through high school and is divided into four levels:

  • Level I: designed for children entering a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) or preschool speech program prior to entering kindergarten
  • Level II: designed to identify strengths and needs for students entering kindergarten through second grade
  • Level III: designed for students entering third through fifth grade
  • Level IV: designed for students from sixth grade through high school graduation

All levels of the LCRA contain directions for administration, a summary sheet of skills, an assessment protocol, and stimulus materials. The instrument also includes an optional Pragmatic Skills assessment as well as a Syntax Grid. The Pragmatic Skills assessment, designed to be utilized with students in kindergarten through high school, examines social language and communication with others. The Syntax Grid provides a format for documenting morphologic/syntactic/structural errors noted during administration and/or discourse with the student. The assessment instruments are accompanied by sample lesson plans for teaching specific skills. The plans contain a list of needed materials; a focus and a purpose for the lesson; directions for the lesson, which include a “strategy” to assist the student in remembering and applying skills learned; and suggested closure.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Language Curriculum – Referenced Assessment (LCRA) Cannon, Johnsen, Malone, Walsh, & Fagan (2002) 3-17

Individually administered, criterion-referenced assessment of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

Yields mastery levels in the areas of: listening comprehension, oral expression, semantics, pragmatics, and syntax

Includes Summary Sheets levels I-IV; Pragmatic Skills Assessment Checklist; Syntax/Morphology summary grid
30-60 min.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for each grade level

Availability: Plano Independent School District, Department of Special Education 469-752-8240

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