Who can use the test?

Any professional with experience working with deaf signing children can carry out the Sign Language Receptive Skills Test (SLRST).

When you are a researcher and want to use the SLRST for research purposes please contact the national test developers. For the BSL version  Rosalind Herman and for the ASL version  Charlotte Enns.


Although a reasonable level of signing skill is recommended, it is not necessary to be a fluent signer to administer the test. All test materials are available on the test website, including the test instructions.


However, a more advanced level of sign language skill is needed to carry out the Vocabulary Check (for more information see a description of the  BSL Receptive Skills Test). Advanced signing skills are also necessary when testing very young children or older children who have additional difficulties.  

Before using the test for the first time, testers need to be registered by the test developers, i.e., Rosalind Herman for the BSL or Charlotte Enns for the ASL version. After they haved registered testers will received the log-in information. New test users are strongly advised to work through the tutorial on how to carry out the test. The tutorial is available at the  test website.


How to register

To do this, testers need to be either:

  • A professional working with deaf children in a recognized school, resource unit, assessment centre or service
  • A researcher attached to a recognized research institution.


To register, testers send an email to the national test developer (see above) from their school/assessment centre/service/research institution email account to obtain a login ID.  Using the login ID, testers fill out a user profile and provide some background information, e.g. name, qualifications, name of school or service, etc. Testers are also asked to consent to the anonymised information about them being used in future research.


Testers can apply for blocks of 10 access codes to test children. Until the end of 2015, access to the test is free of charge. After that, a small fee will be payable for each block of 10 access codes.


Before carrying out the test: Obtaining parental consent

Once testers are registered, they are required to enter information about each child they wish to test on the website database. Signed parental consent is needed before information is entered.


To obtain parental consent, testers must explain what is involved to the child’s parent/guardian using the parent information sheet and the parent consent form. Testers can either send these forms home to parents or meet parents to talk them through the forms.


Note: Parents do not have to consent to all parts of the consent form:

  • Level 1 is consent for the child to take the test. Some parents may only wish to give level 1 consent, or may optionally consent to give:
  • Level 2 consent for the child’s anonymised data to be used to develop new test norms
  • Level 3 consent for the child’s anonymised data to be used in future research.


Signed consent forms should be stored securely at the testers’ school/assessment centre/ service/research institution.


Before carrying out the test: Entering information about the child

Once signed parental consent has been obtained, testers enter the level of consent on the  test website and are then able to entering further information on each child. Each child allocated a numerical ID code to ensure that information about them is anonymised. 


What happens to the information stored about testers and the children they test?

Where consent has been obtained for information to be used to produce new test norms and/or in future research, the anonymised information will be stored securely on the website database to be accessed only by the project development team. All data will be kept securely for at least 10 years.


Carrying out the test

New test users are strongly advised to work through the tutorial on how to carry out the test.


The test consist of two parts: the Vocabulary Check (optional) and the Receptive Skills Test.


Vocabulary Check

The Vocabulary Check is used to check that children know the vocabulary used in the SLRST. Using the Vocabulary Check is optional, but is strongly recommended when testing either very young children or where there are significant concerns about a child’s language development. In these cases, the Vocabulary Check should be carried out before starting the main test.


Materials (available online)

  • 20 pictures
  • Vocabulary Check form



The Vocabulary Check takes about 5 minutes to administer. The child names the pictures representing familiar objects and people. For some pictures, the tester may need to provide prompts, e.g. for MOTHER, many children sign WOMAN. The tester can encourage the child to produce the target sign by asking: WHO? BABY AND WHO? (tester points to the picture of the mother).


Receptive Skills Test

Materials (available online)



The SLRST takes between 10 to 20 minutes to administer, depending on the age and ability of each child. At the start of the test, there is a child friendly explanation that children watch, explaining the test. This is followed by 3 practice sentences. Testers are able to give feedback on the practice sentences and replay the video clips to ensure the child understands what is required. However, for the main test, it is not possible to replay test sentences or give feedback.


For each signed sentence, the child watches the adult signing on the computer and responds by pointing to the matching picture from the four-picture array that follows on. The tester uses the computer keyboard to enter the child’s response as a number from 1-4, depending on the picture selected. If the child fails 4 consecutive items, the computer will automatically stop the test.


Repeating the test

Two parallel versions of the test are provided for BSL, version A and version B. When repeating the test, it may be preferable to use a different version in order to maintain the child’s interest in the test. At the moment, raw scores can be obtained for both versions. However, standard scores are only available for version A. For the ASL version no parralel version exist. It is not recommended to give the ASL test more than once a year.


Scoring the test

At the end of the test, the tester selects Test Results. The web-based test will automatically generate a report that includes the child’s ID , raw score, standard score (if available), and pattern of errors. The report can be stored on the computer or printed.


Please contact us at  admin@signlanguagetest.com