TELD-3 Test of Early Language Development

A quick guide to the TELD | An SLP resource to formal assessments - Administering the TELD

The Speech Girls have been busy lately! We just started a new semester, which means new clients, which means… report writing. As I was writing a description of the TELD, I thought it would be a great resource to share. I hope you all find this new series helpful in your report writing!

This is not a comprehensive guide. Please refer to the manual when administering, scoring, and converting scores for this test and all other assessments. We hope this guide is a helpful tool for writing reports or refreshing your memory when choosing an appropriate test for a client.

Test Description

The Test of Early Language Development – Third Edition (TELD-3) is a standardized norm-referenced test designed to assess the expressive and receptive language skills of children from ages 3;0 to 7;11. It was designed to measure three of the five components of language: semantics, syntax, and morphology (Hresko, Reid, & Hammill, 1990). Hresko, Reid, and Hammill (1990) state that the purpose of the assessment is to identify candidates for intervention, document progress in therapy, and identify strengths and weaknesses of the child.

The assessment uses a picture book, manipulatives (e.g., coins, toys, etc.), and verbal commands (e.g., “Point to your nose.”). The TELD-3 has two variations, A and B, so it can be administered again at a later date without the risk of the child “learning the test”. The normative sample for the TELD-3 included 2,217 children from 35 states in a variety of regions in the United States. The sample was 51% female and 49% male. The majority of the sample was white (81%), with 13% black, and only 6% other races. Extensive studies declare the assessment is reliable and valid.

Types of Scores

The TELD-3 provides a variety of scores: raw score (how many questions the child answered correctly), standard score, age equivalent, and percentile rank. Standard scores of 70 or less, or a percentile rank of 7 or less, are considered disordered. The TELD-3 refers to the standard scores as “quotients”.

How to score

Scoring is easy. For each question, score a 1 for correct, or a 0  for incorrect. Some questions have multiple parts. The protocol states if the child needs to get 3/4 or 2/2, for example, to get the question correct. The basal is three correct, starting at the section for the child’s age. If needed, work backwards until you reach a basal of three. The ceiling is 3 incorrect responses. The test includes the necessary manipulatives.


Hresko, W. P, Reid, D. K., & Hammill, D. D. (1999). Test of Early Language Development-Third Edition. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

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