A two-generation program for low-income children (age 2.5-5 years) and their families was established in 2001 at Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) One World.
Children are followed by Dr. Karen Benzies and her research team for school readiness, using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), as they transitioned to the public school system, again at age 7, and at age 10 years, with projected follow-up at age 15 years. The PPVT is a norm-referenced, wide-range test with two purposes: an achievement test of receptive (hearing) vocabulary attainment for English; and a screening test of verbal ability.
There are four training items and 204 test items grouped into 17 sets of 12 items each. The items are arranged in order of increasing difficulty, each item consists of four black-and white illustrations on a picture plate. The test taker must select the picture that best represents the meaning of a word read by the examiner. Most individuals complete five sets, or 60 items. The raw score is obtained by subtracting the number of errors from the total ceiling score; higher scores indicate better receptive vocabulary. Raw scores can be converted to age-referenced normative scores such as standard scores, percentiles, stanines, normal curve equivalents, and age equivalents.
The PPVT correlates well with other measures of vocabulary, and moderately well with other tests of verbal ability, and is a necessary tool for completing the follow-up of children at CUPS One World.