BSL Communicative Development Inventory
What is it?
The BSL-CDI is a BSL version of the parent-led MacArthur-Bates Communication Development Inventory (CDI), which is also used for many spoken languages and for other sign languages.
It is a developmental checklist of signs used and understood by babies and infants aged 8-36 months. It is easy to complete online and provides a snapshot of a child’s sign vocabulary in BSL.
What is involved?
This is a checklist that takes about 45 mins to complete on the computer by parents following the instructions of a practitioner or researcher who has experience of working with young deaf children, or by other adults with substantial familiarity with a child’s communication.
The checklist comprises lists of video clips of signs and their English translations. The person completing the checklist marks if the child understands and/or produces that sign. There are also a small number of signed phrases. The checklist is designed to include signs that are in the early vocabulary of most children learning BSL. We do not expect any child to understand or sign all of the items, because a wide range of ages are being tested and younger children will have fewer items compared to older children.
Who is it suitable for?
What normative data is available?
Deaf children aged 8 - 36 months
Who should use this test?
Can the checklist be completed more than once?
Yes, but at intervals of no less than 3 months.
Test citation and norms
Woolfe, T., Herman, R., Roy, P., & Woll, B. (2010). Early vocabulary development in deaf native signers: a British Sign Language adaptation of the communicative development inventories. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(3), 322-331.
Woll, B. (2013) Sign language and spoken language development in young children: measuring vocabulary by means of the CDI. In Meurant L, Sinte A, van Herreweghe M, & Vermeerbergen M (Eds.) Sign language research, uses and practices: crossing views on theoretical and applied sign language linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton & Nijmegen: Ishara Press, pp 15-34.
Denmark, T., & Atkinson, J. (2015). Using and Developing Language and Cognitive Assessments with Deaf Signers. Research Methods in Sign Language Studies: A Practical Guide, 352.
Harris, M. (2010). Early communication in sign and speech. The Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language and education, 2, 316-330.
The checklist comprises lists of video clips of signs and sign phrases and their English translations. Next to each item is a pair of boxes: U (Understands) and S (Signs). For each item, mark if the child child understands that sign and if the child produces that sign. You can work from the English translations if you know how the sign is produced, or click on a video for an example of that sign.
The checklist is designed to include signs that are in the early vocabulary of most children learning BSL. We do not expect any child to understand or sign all of the items, because a wide range of ages are being tested –younger children will have fewer items compared to older children, and may understand signs they do not yet produce.
The demo provides guidance on the steps to follow to complete the checklist.
On the last page, please add any other signs your child knows that are not on the list.
Data is generated in CSV format for easy import into your preferred data management software
A separate CSV file is generated for each participant. Each contains the raw data including the order of items on the checklist, a Comprehension score of Yes (1) or No (0) for each item, and a Production score of Yes (1) or No (0) for each item.
One mark is awarded for each item scored as understood and one mark for each item scored as signed. The overall maximum score for Comprehension (“Understands”) on the CDI is 572. This consists of 551 single signs and 21 sign phrases. The overall maximum score for Production (“Signs”) is 572. This also consists of 551 single signs and 21 sign phrases.
For questions related to this test, please contact the task owner, Bencie Woll