Protocol - Grammatical Impairments - Test of Early Grammatical Impairment

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Past Tense Probe and Third Person Singular Probe are interviewer-administered subtests of the Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI). The interviewer uses a picture elicitation task to elicit target forms of grammar. Normative data are available to assist in scoring results.

Specific Instructions

The Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) is available for download from Dr. Rice’s website (https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/handle/1808/32569). Each TEGI subtest is a part of a complete assessment. For this assessment to be considered valid, the investigator should make sure that the respondent speaks English as a first language. For genetics studies, children should be assessed for hearing or nonverbal cognitive impairment as related factors.




You can access the manual and scoresheet for the Rice-Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) from Dr. Rice’s website, which follows: https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/handle/1808/32569.

Summary of Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI)

The Past Tense Probe and Third Person Singular Probe subtests of the TEGI assess children's grammar in the domain of tense-marking, a widely studied clinical marker of language impairments in children that has been used as a behavioral phenotype in genetic studies of specific language impairment (SLI). Both subtests use a conventional picture elicitation method. The Past Tense Probe consists of a total of 20 items; the Third Person Singular Probe consists of a total of 11 items. Total time of administration for both subtests is 10–15 minutes for typically developing children.

Scoring Instructions

Children's responses are recorded on a response form and scored in reference to norms for children ages 3–9 years. The reference samples consist of 50 children per 6-month age level ascertained in a population-representative manner. Separate reference samples are provided, per age level, for typically developing children and children with language impairments. Available scores include means and standard deviations per reference sample per age level; sensitivity and specificity scores; and a criterion score defined by optimal sensitivity and specificity levels.

Personnel and Training Required

The Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) can be administered by trained research assistants. Examiners should have formal training in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical assessments. Additionally, investigators are encouraged to have quality control procedures in place to maintain consistency across examiners.

Equipment Needs

The interviewer will need the test kit, which includes the test record, toys, puppets, and other props needed to administer the test.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Interviewer-administered questionnaire




Children, ages 3–8 years

Selection Rationale

The Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI) was selected because it is a validated protocol and is the only known assessment tool that tests for the presence of this particular set of grammar forms that are diagnostic of language impairment in this age range.



Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #7 (ERP 7) reviewed the measures in the Speech and Hearing domain.

Guidance from ERP 7 includes the following:

  • No significant changes to measure

Protocol Name from Source

Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI)


Rice, M., & Wexler, K. (N.d.). Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI). New York, NY: Psychological Corporation.

General References

Dale, P. S., Rice, M. L., Rimfeld, K., & Hayiou-Thomas, E. (2018). Grammar clinical marker yields substantial heritability for language impairments in 16-year-old twins. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research, 61, 66–78.

Rice, M. L., Smith, S. D., & Gayan, J. (2009). Convergent genetic linkage and associations to language, speech, and reading measures in families of probands with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 1, 264–282.

Rice, M. L., Zubrick, S. R., Taylor, C. L., Hoffman, L., & Gayán, J. (2018). Longitudinal study of language and speech of twins at 4 and 6 years: Twinning effects decrease; zygosity effects disappear; and heritability increases. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research, 61, 79–93.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX200505000000 Protocol 200505 - proprietary. Check DCW for more
contact. show less
Speech, Language and Hearing
Measure Name

Grammatical Impairments

Release Date

June 4, 2019


This measure is a test that assesses the respondent's knowledge of grammar.


This measure can be used to identify respondents with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) or other categories of language impairment. Language impairment refers to problems acquiring and using language, including the inability to use correct verb forms. Language impairment can appear with or without related impairments of hearing and/or nonverbal cognition.


Specific language impairment, SLI, language impairments, Question Grammaticality Test, morphosyntactic impairment, syntactic impairment, syntax, language, finiteness marking, Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, CELF, Rice-Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment, TEGI, speech and hearing, Grammaggio

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
200502 Grammatical Impairments - Grammaticality Judgment Task
200504 Grammatical Impairments - Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals
200505 Grammatical Impairments - Test of Early Grammatical Impairment

Rice, M.L. & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2016) Language Phenotypes. In V. Jagaroo and S.L. Santangelo (eds.) Neurophenotypes, Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience. Springer. 2016 January; doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3846-5_12