Oral.WritLang. Pres

Assessment Area:
Oral & Written
Assessment of language
competence should include
evaluation of a student’s ability
to process, both comprehension
and expression of language in
both spoken and written form.
Why Assess Oral and Written
• The ability to converse and to express
thoughts and feelings is a goal of most
• Various language processes and skills are
believed to underlie subsequent
– Behavior Disorders
– Learning Disorders
– Reading Disorders
What is the most valid method of
evaluating a child’s language
performance – especially
when it comes to communication?
There are 3 procedures used to
gather a sample of a child’s
language behavior:
• Spontaneous Language
• Imitation
• Elicited Language
Spontaneous Language
• Spontaneity is the best and most
natural indicator of everyday
language performance.
• Informality makes assessment
easy, no formal testing
Spontaneous Language
• There is a non-standard nature to
the data collected by this type of
• This test can take a very long time
to collect data.
Imitation - Advantages:
• Overcomes many of the problems associated
with the spontaneous approach.
• Assesses many different language elements
to give a representative view of child’s language
• Structure of the test allows examiner to know
all elements of language being assessed.
• Test can be administered much more quickly
than with spontaneous tests.
Imitation - Disadvantages:
• Children’s auditory memory may effect the
results – a child can score well by imitation
without demonstrating productive knowledge of
the language structures being tested.
• A child can repeat exactly what is said if the
utterance or sentence is too small requiring no
memory processing.
• Children become very bored and can’t sit still.
There is no stimuli like pictures or toys present.
Just the repetition of repeating 50 to 100
sentences after the examiner.
Elicited Language
• Pictures are used to elicit language
This overcomes many of the
disadvantages of spontaneous and
imitation language methods.
Elicited Language - Advantages:
• Pictures can be structured to test desired
language elements while retaining some of
the spontaneous language samples.
• Allows children to create language on their
• There is no time limit so results do not depend
on child’s word retention ability.
Elicited Language - Disadvantages:
• Difficult to find pictures to guarantee
exact word or sentence response.
• Child may not produce or attempt to
produce the desired language structure.
Summary of language gathering methods:
• All three methods have merit.
• Examiner needs to decide which
one would best suit their needs
based on what they are trying to
Some of the tests used
in this area of
Oral and
Written Language are:
• Test of Written Language – 4th (ed) (TOWL-4)
• Test of Language Development: Primary – 4th
edition (TOLD-P:4)
• Test of Language Development: Intermediate –
4th edition (TOLD-I:4)
• Oral an Written Language Scales (OWLS)
• Test of Auditory Reasoning and Processing Skills
Skills Measured
• Oral Comprehension - (Listening and
Comprehension speech)
• Written Comprehension - (Reading)
• Oral Expression - (Speaking)
• Written Expression - (writing)
The following tests are primarily used for
diagnostic reasons versus general screening.
Test of Written
4 Edition
(TOWL- 4)
TOWL-4 is a norm-referenced
device designed to assess the
written language competence of
students between the ages of 9-0
and 17-11.
Recommended Uses
• Identify students with substantial writing
• Determine strengths and weaknesses
• Document student progress
• Conduct research
Writing Formats
• Contrived – students’ linguistic options
are purposely constrained to force the
students to pursue specific words or
• Spontaneous – students’ linguistic options
are spontaneous.
Three components of written language
• Conventional – using widely accepted rules in
punctuation and spelling.
• Linguistic – deals with syntactic and semantic
• Cognitive – deals with producing “logical,
coherent, and contextual written materials.”
Seven Sub-tests
• First five use contrived formats
• Sub-test 6 and 7 use spontaneous formats
Contrived Sub Tests
• Vocabulary – The student writes a sentence that incorporates a
stimulus word. E.g.: For ran, a student writes, “I ran up the hill.”
• Spelling – The student writes sentences from dictation, making
proper use of spelling rules.
• Punctuation – The student writes sentences from dictation, making
proper use of punctuation and capitalization rules.
• Logical Sentences – The student edits an illogical sentence so that
it makes better sense. E.g.: “John blinked his nose” is changed to
“John blinked his eye.”
• Sentence Combining – The student integrates the meaning of
several short sentences into one grammatically correct written
sentence. E.g.: “John drives fast” is combined with “John has a red
car,” making “John drives his red car fast.”
Spontaneous Sub-tests
• Contextual Conventions – The student writes a story
in response to a stimulus picture. Points are earned for
satisfying specific arbitrary requirements relative to
orthographic (E.g.: punctuation, spelling) and grammatical
conventions (E.g.: sentence construction, noun-verb
• Story Composition – The student’s story is evaluated
relative to the quality of its composition (E.g.: vocabulary,
plot, prose, development of characters, and interest to the
• 2 out of the subtests were at .90 and the
story composition came in at .80
• Overall Interscore reliability is quite
good for this type of test.
It’s borderline although there is support
that it is useful in identifying students
with literacy difficulties however it’s not
very helpful in identifying specific
written language literacy difficulties.
Test of Language
Development: Primary –
Fourth Ed.
(TOLD P:4)
TOLD P:4 is a norm-referenced,
non-timed, individually
administered test. Intended to be
used with children ages 4-0 and
8-11 years.
Recommended Uses
• Identify children who are significantly
lower their peers in oral language
• Determine a child’s specific strengths and
weaknesses in oral language skills
• Document progress in remedial programs
• Measure oral language research studies
Nine Sub-Tests
• Each measures different components of oral language
• Six subtest are considered core subtests and their scores
are combined to form composite scores.
– Semantics and grammar
– Listening
– Organizing
– Speaking
– Overall language ability
• Remaining subtests contain phonology and are excluded
from the composite scores
– Purpose to create clear separation between speech
competence and language competence.
Composite Sub-tests
Picture vocabulary - measures understanding of the meaning of
spoken English words (semantics, listening)
Relational vocabulary - measures understanding and ability to
orally express the relationships between two spoken stimulus
words (semantics, organizing)
Oral vocabulary - measures ability to give oral directions to
common English words that are spoken by the examiner
(semantics, speaking)
Syntactic understanding - measures ability to comprehend the
meaning of sentences (grammar, listening)
Sentence imitation - measures ability to imitate English
sentences (grammar, organizing)
Morphological completion - measures ability to recognize,
understand, and use common English morphological forms
(grammar, speaking)
Non-Composite Sub-test
1. Word discrimination - measures ability to
recognize the differences in significant speech
sounds (phonology, listening)
2. Word analysis - measures ability to segment
words into smaller phonemic units (phonology,
3. Word articulation - measures ability to utter
important English speech sounds (phonology,
The TOLD P:4 appears to meet and often
exceed the standards for reliability with
all coefficients exceeding 0.90
The validity of the test is comparable to
three other oral language measured tests
which are pragmatic language
observation scale, TOLD – I:4, WISC-IV
Verbal Composite.
Correlations were moderate and standard
deviations were earned.
Test of Language Development:
Intermediate – Fourth Ed.
(TOLD I:4)
TOLD I:4 is a norm-referenced,
non-timed, individually
administered test.
Intended to be used with
children ages 8-0 and 17-11 years.
Recommended Uses
• Identify children who are significantly
lower their peers in oral language
• Determine a child’s specific strengths and
weaknesses in oral language skills
• Document progress in remedial programs
• Measure oral language research studies
Six Sub-tests
• Measure different components of
semantics and grammar.
• Six subtest are converted to standard
scores for each test then converted to
composite scores.
– Semantics and grammar
– Listening
– Organizing
– Speaking
– Overall language ability
Sentence combining. The child is required to form one
compound or complex sentence from two or more simple
sentences spoken by the examiner.
Picture vocabulary. The child points to the picture that
best represents a series of two-word items.
Word ordering. The child forms a complete, correct
sentence from a randomly-ordered string of words,
ranging from three to seven in length.
Relational vocabulary. The child tells how three words,
spoken by the examiner, are alike.
Morphological comprehension. The child
distinguishes between grammatically correct and
incorrect sentences.
Multiple meanings. The examiner says a word and the
student responds by saying as many different meanings
for that word as he/she can think of.
TOLD-I:4 appears to meet and often
exceed the standards for reliability for
making screening and diagnostic
The coefficients for reliability exceed 0.90
Unlike the TOLD – P:4, there is good
evidence for construct validity of this test
which is based on oral language ability
which is known to be related to literacy
and this test has a high correlation with
reading and writing abilities.
Oral and Written Language
• Individually administered assessment of
receptive and expressive language.
• Test includes three scales:
- Listening Comprehension
- Oral Expression
- Written Expression
Recommended uses: Ages 3 - 21
• To determine broad levels of language skills
and specific performance in listening,
speaking, and writing.
• Create intervention plans, and monitor
student progress scores can be converted to
obtain age equivalents/percentiles, etc.
• Listening Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Written Expression
Listening Comprehension
Takes appx. 5 – 15 min
• Measures understanding of spoken
• 111 items – examiner reads aloud a
verbal stimulus. The student has to
identify which 4 pictures is the best
response to the stimulus.
Oral Expression
Takes appx: 5 –15 min
• Measures understanding of and use of
spoken language.
• 96 items – examiner reads aloud a verbal
stimulus and shows a picture. Student
responds orally by either answering a
question, completing a sentence, or
generating one or more sentences.
Written Expression
Timed response test
• Measures ability of students 5-21 yrs old
regarding use spelling, punctuation, syntax –
sentence structure, phrases, etc., and
communicate with appropriate content,
coherence, organization, etc.
• The student responds to direct writing
prompts by the examiner.
• There are wide ranges in reliability
coefficients for this test.
• Results of this test are sufficient to use as
a screening device but are not sufficient
to use in making important decisions
about individual students.
Authors of this test report that the
validity studies comparing these
subtests to established criterion
measured tests were similar in
performance and within the
expected range of validity.
Test of
• Individually administered to students\
ages 5 to 14
• 90 items total on test
• Measures the level of a child’s thinking
and reasoning.
TARPS - Strengths
• There are no subtests
• Easy to administer
• Easy to score
• Makes student think
• Anyone can administer this test
• Inexpensive to purchase $75 for
a kit (manual and booklets)
Since test is not timed, examiner has
to decide what is a reasonable amount of
time child should be allowed to think
about each question.
Process for administering
• It is total auditory. Administrator
asks student every question. No
paper or pencil is allowed.
• Administrator scribes all answers to
verify any questions after the fact.
• Based out of 90 questions, there is a
scale provided based on
chronological age and amount of
correct responses.
• Coefficients range from 0.79 at age 5
to 0.89 at age 14.
• Mean reliability is 0.87 at all age levels
Validity of TARPS
• Content validity – designed to provide sampling of
individual’s auditory reasoning and processing skills.
• Item validity – free from bias regarding sex of subject.
Final items present difficulty levels appropriate for
assessing a wide range of behavior in auditory reasoning
and processing.
• Criterion–related ability: correlates with the
relationship of verbal intelligence tests sub tests of the
WISC-III, WPPSI-R and the Word Opposites sub test
of the Detroit Tests of Learning Apititude – 2nd edition
There are many diagnostic tools
available to determine specific
learning disabilities.
We believe a combination of tests
are necessary in order to receive an
accurate analysis of a child’s
learning disability.