Arizona-4: Arizona Articulation and Phonology Scale–Fourth Edition Janet B. Fudala, Sheri Stegall

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Ages: 18 months through 21 years
Testing Time: 5 to 20 minutes
Administration: Individual
Scoring: Manual or online

The Arizona Articulation and Phonology Scale- Fourth Edition measures speech intelligibility, articulatory impairment, and phonological impairment in one quick, easy to use assessment. The fourth edition of this widely used assessment retains the strengths of its predecessors and adds features that enhance its effectiveness in identifying individuals who have speech sound disorders. New norms, refined measurement properties, and the addition of connected-speech and phonology tests help clinicians identify individuals who may benefit from speech sound services. Supplemental qualitative tasks facilitate deeper interpretation of the scores and help clinicians develop treatment plans that are targeted to the individuals needs.

Applications and Uses

The Arizona-4 can be used by speech and language professionals in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, private practices, and intervention programs. Its applications include:

  • Understanding and describing an individual's level of articulatory ability and overall speech intelligibility in both single-word and connected speech
  • Comparing single-word and connected-speech articulatory abilities
  • Determining the extent to which phonological impairment may contribute to an individual's articulatory deficits, and describing the specific types of phonological error patterns that are displayed
  • Facilitating early identification of speech-sound development concerns and determining whether an individual may benefit from treatment services
  • Identifying and prioritizing speech targets for individualized intervention through analysis of the examinee's specific articulatory/phonological deficits and relative strengths, including the production of consonants, consonant blends, vowels, and vocalic /r/
  • Monitoring improvement in an individual's speech sound production over time
  • Evaluating the degree of consistency in an individual's production of misarticulated sounds, the impact of speech sound deficits in continuous language and everyday speech, and the need for further language assessment or intervention

What It Measures

The Arizona-4 scores help clinicians identify individuals who are in need of speech sound services and develop treatment plans for them. The primary score is the easy-to-understand Word or Sentence Articulation Total Score, which has a direct and useful interpretation. Because the Total Scores are based on research that links them to the actual rate of speech sound occurrence in American speech, they express a real sense of how often misarticulated sounds are likely to occur in the examinee's everyday speech and what impact those misarticulations are likely to have on overall speech intelligibility. The Word and Sentence Articulation Critical Difference Score provides further information about clinically meaningful differences between articulation in single-word versus connected-speech contexts.

In addition, standard scores are provided for Word Articulation, Sentence Articulation, and Phonology. Standard scores allow comparison of the examinee's performance to that of a typically developing peer group based on age (and gender, at the younger ages). Severity ranges, confidence intervals, percentile ranks, and test-age equivalent scores further aid clinical interpretation. The Arizona-4 scores include descriptive language that is easily understood by parents and other nonprofessionals.

Expanded guidelines for interpretation cover topics such as extreme scores, item-level analysis, percentage of occurrence of phonological error patterns, and use of the Arizona-4 to measure change over time. Additional qualitative information is available through a variety of supplemental, nonstandardized tasks that help you plan effective treatment for the individual.

The Arizona-4 offers the following scores:

  • Total Scores and associated Speech Intelligibility Interpretation Values
  • Standard Scores and associated Severity Ranges for level of articulatory and phonological impairment
  • Word and Sentence Articulation Critical Difference Score
  • Percentage of Occurrence for phonological error patterns
  • Percentage of Speech Improvement score for retesting

What's new in the Arizona-4

  • Three tests in one assessment: Word Articulation, Sentence Articulation, and Phonology
  • All-new normative data
  • Extension of the standardized age range to 21 years, 11 months, with guidance for describing and understanding the speech of adults of all ages
  • Modified scoring system for more effective identification of individuals with speech sound disorders
  • Five optional tasks that inform treatment plan development
  • Scoring guidance for dialectal variations
  • Full-color illustrations that are more engaging for young children
  • Digital stimulus images
  • FREE online scoring and report generation through the WPS Online Evaluation System (

Technical Information

The Arizona-4 was standardized on a nationally representative sample of 3,192 children, adolescents, and young adults, aged 1 year, 6 months through 21 years, 11 months. This sample was stratified to match U.S. Census data with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, parents' educational level, and geographic region. A clinical validation sample was also collected, consisting of 50 individuals who had a diagnosis of a speech sound disorder (articulation and/or phonological disorder) and were receiving treatment services.

The Arizona-4 has strong internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and interrater reliability, supporting the stability of Arizona-4 results within tests, over time, and across examiners.

Several studies provide validity evidence supporting the Arizona-4. The Arizona-4 scores show the expected progression of development for speech sound mastery as well as the expected mastery ages for specific target sounds and phonological error patterns, providing evidence that the Arizona-4 adequately captures speech sound development. Validity evidence also includes correlations with scores of other established measures of articulation and phonology. A clinical study supports the ability of the Arizona-4 to distinguish those who have clinically diagnosed speech sound disorders from those who do not. These results indicate excellent sensitivity and specificity, as well as positive and negative predictive value, for the Arizona-4 tests.

COMPLETE ARIZONA-4 KIT INCLUDES: Examiner's Manual, Easel, 25 Print Phonology Coding Forms, and 25 Word/Sentence Articulation Record Forms.