Preschool Language Scale, Fourth Edition (PLS-4)

Preschool Language Scale, Fourth Edition (PLS-4)


Irla Lee Zimmerman, PhD, Violette G. Steiner, BS, Roberta Evatt Pond, MA


PLS™-4 is an interactive assessment of developmental language skills. Updated edition available: PLS™-5.

Age Range:

Birth through 6:11

RTI Tiers:

RTI Levels 2 and 3

Completion Time:

20 to 45 minutes


Total Language, Auditory Comprehension, Expressive Communication, Standard Scores, Percentile Ranks, Language Age Equivalents

Publication Date:


The PLS-5 (English edition) is available now.

With input from speech pathologists around the U.S., PLS–4 has expanded coverage of language skills and new norms to obtain an even more accurate picture of a child’s language skills.


  • Norms based on 2000 U.S. Census figures for children birth through 6 years. The new norms are based on a larger, more diverse sample of approximately 1,500 children, including children with disabilities.
  • 39.1% of this sample consists of ethnic minorities—the largest percentage to date!
  • New Spanish Edition with separate norms will be available soon.

Extensive Expert Review

Experts from across the U.S. reviewed PLS–4 English and PLS–4 Spanish Editions for content coverage and to assure that test items and art are appropriate for children from different social economic status (SES) and cultural/regional groups.

Expanded Coverage of Language Skills

  • New PLS–4 items were developed from a pool of well-researched items that were subjected to rigorous review.
  • For children birth to 2.11, there are more items targeting interaction, attention, and vocal/gestural behaviors.
  • For 5 and 6 year olds, there are more items targeting early literacy and phonological awareness skills that tap school readiness.
  • Includes reproducible Caregiver Questionnaire in which parents or caregivers share their knowledge of the child’s typical communication at home.
  • Integrate information obtained from parents and caregivers into a child’s norm-referenced scores. This means that PLS–4 meets general federal and state guidelines including IDEA requirements for use in evaluating infants and preschoolers for special services and programs including Head Start, Even Start, and Title 1.

Great Value

  • Purchase PLS–4 English and PLS–4 Spanish Editions with or without manipulatives.
  • Manipulatives include a ball, soft cloth, 5 blocks, 2 cars, 3 cups, 2 rattles, a box with lid, 3 spoons, 2 bowls, a squeaky toy, 2 wind-up toys, and a teddy bear.

Technical Reports

PLS-4 Technical Report (PDF – 209kb)

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