Listening Comprehension: Sentence Plausibility


This is a test of the ability to understand spoken sentences. The sentences are the same as those used for the "Comprehension of Written Sentences" task. There are 3 practice and 20 test sentences. The sentences are in either active or passive voice and describe events that either make sense or do not make sense. The task is to judge whether a sentence read aloud by the examiner does or does not make sense, indicated by a "yes/no" response. Because the same sentences are used as in reading comprehension, it is best to administer this task after the "Comprehension of Written Sentences" and other tasks, or preferably on another day.

Clients must take sentence structure into account if they are to respond correctly. For example, if a client is to decide that a passive sentence like 'The headmaster was expelled by the student' does not make sense, they must understand that the sentence is a passive structure, in which the initial noun is the patient rather than the agent.


There are no written or pictured stimuli. The examiner reads aloud each sentence.


Read aloud each sentence in the order indicated on the score sheet.


Tell the client that you are going to read aloud some sentences.

Examiner: I am going to read you some sentences, and I want you to tell me whether they are sensible or not. Sensible sentences will describe normal events: They will be things like: 'The queen opened the gallery' or 'The actor read his lines.' Sentences that are not sensible will describe strange or unusual events. Some examples are: 'The flowers slammed the door' and 'The grocer scratched the cat.' Let's try some practice ones.

Administer the three practice items with corrective feedback, up to three times if errors are made. When the practice items have been given, say Great, now we'll start the test. I won't tell you if you are right or wrong with these.

Administer the test items without corrective feedback.


For test items, if no response or the client requests it, repeat up to 2 times.


Circle the client's choice of "Yes" or "No" at the time of administration. After administration, each correct response (circled and bold) is scored "1" in the appropriate blank square of the score box. The total score can be broken down into subtotals for active sensible (yes), active/not sensible (no), passive/sensible (yes) and passive/not sensible (no) sentences.

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