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How to study for the MLAT-Elementary

In the realm of child language acquisition and proficiency, few tools are as powerful and versatile as the MLAT Elementary test. MLAT, which stands for Modern Language Aptitude Test, is a widely respected assessment designed to measure one's potential to learn a new language. The MLAT Elementary level, in particular, is a valuable resource for children embarking on a journey to master a foreign language. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of MLAT Elementary, understanding what it is, why it's important, how it works, and how you can make the most of it.

What is MLAT Elementary?

The MLAT Elementary is a version of the Modern Language Aptitude Test, developed by John B. Carroll in the 1950s. This test assesses an individual's aptitude for learning foreign languages by evaluating a set of cognitive skills and abilities. While there are different versions of the MLAT, the Elementary level is specifically tailored to those who are between grades 2 and 7.

Why is MLAT Elementary Important?

1. Predicting Language Learning Success

The MLAT Elementary test plays a crucial role in predicting a child's potential for language learning success. By assessing cognitive traits such as working memory, associative memory, inductive language learning, and phonetic coding ability, the test can provide valuable insights into how easily someone may acquire a new language. This information can be incredibly helpful for educators, language programs, and learners themselves.

2. Tailored Learning Strategies

Understanding your language aptitude, as revealed through the MLAT Elementary, can guide you in selecting the most effective learning strategies. For instance, if the test indicates that your phonetic coding ability is strong, you may choose to focus on pronunciation and speaking skills early in your language learning journey. This tailored approach can save you time and effort.

3. Career and Educational Opportunities

Many educational institutions and employers value language skills. High scores on the MLAT Elementary can open doors to scholarships or language-related programs.

How Does MLAT Elementary Work?

The MLAT Elementary test consists of various subtests, each targeting a specific cognitive skill relevant to language learning. Here's a brief overview of what you can expect:

Part 1- HIDDEN WORDS: ability to associate sounds and symbols

Part 2- MATCHING WORDS: sensitivity to grammatical structure

Part 3- FINDING RHYMES: ability to hear speech sounds

Part 4- NUMBER LEARNING: auditory alertness and ability to remember

Tips for Success on MLAT Elementary

  1. Practice Regularly: Like any other skill, language aptitude can be improved with practice. Regularly engage with the language you're learning, even outside of the test.

  2. Diversify Learning Resources: Use a variety of resources, including textbooks, language apps, online courses, and language exchange partners, to enhance your skills.

  3. Seek Feedback: Don't hesitate to ask for feedback from teachers, tutors, or peers. Constructive criticism can help you focus on your weak areas.

  4. Stay Motivated: Learning a new language can be challenging. Keep your motivation high by setting realistic goals and celebrating your progress.

  5. Simulate Test Conditions: Familiarize yourself with the format and timing of the MLAT Elementary test by taking practice exams under exam-like conditions.


The MLAT Elementary test is a powerful tool for understanding your child's potential in foreign language acquisition. If you are interested in your child practicing for the MLAT-E, you can access training resources here.

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