A Comparison of Three
Language Assessment Tools
Laura Wrobel
Washington University-Central Institute for the Deaf
Introduction
 Language assessment tools allow deaf educators to assess
the language of their students.
 Based on the results of the assessment, educators can:




select Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) objectives
plan instruction to promote language acquisition
monitors progress of language acquisition
aids in reporting
Introduction
 The following assessment tools have been developed to aid
in assessing language:



The Teacher of Grammatical Structures (TAGS)
The Teacher Assessment of Spoken Language (TASL)
The Cottage Acquisition Scales for Listening, Language, and
Speech (CASLLS)
Purpose
 To analyze the similarities and differences among the 3
tools
 Discuss the strengths and weaknesses
 Discover which is the most concise, simplest to administer,
and easiest to explain
Method
 Manuals and evaluation forms were obtained, read, and
analyzed
 Spontaneous language samples were collected


Child #1 at 2-3 word level
Child #2 at 4-5 word level
 After the language samples were analyzed using the
evaluation forms, conclusions were drawn
TAGS Manual
 Provides a detailed rationale and description of its rating
forms
 Explains how to determine where to begin when analyzing
a child’s language
 Provides norms of language development in children with
normal hearing and no language delay
 May be used to evaluate sentence structure for children
who use sign language
 Explains language competency levels
TAGS Manual
 Each competency level is rated. The rater decides if the
level of competence:
 has not been demonstrated
 is emerging
 is acquired
 Explains dotted (x’s) and half dotted (x’s)
 Explains solid (x’s) and half (x’s)
TAGS Evaluation Forms
 Assesses language at three levels
 Lists grammatical categories
 Provides sample acceptable productions on the form
Advantages of the TAGS
 Developed by experienced deaf educators
 Manual and forms simply written
 Lists acceptable and unacceptable productions on the form
and in the manual
 Provides norms of language development in children with
normal hearing without a language delay to use as a guide
 Allows teacher creativity
Limitations of the TAGS
 Criteria for mastery is very stringent
 Criterion of acquiring any competency level is the
teacher’s decision
 Difficult to distinguish between prompted and spontaneous
productions
TASL Manual
 Assesses language of those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing,
and /or with a language delay
 May be used to evaluate language of those who use sign
language
 Evaluates written language
 Explains how to determine where to begin when evaluating
a child’s language
 Describes syntactic elements and sentence types
TASL Manual
 Each sentence type or syntactic element is rated as:
 emerging
 acquired
 Dotted (x’s) and half dotted (x’s) are used to indicate that a
sentence type or element is selected as an objective
 Solid (x’s) and half (x’s) are used to indicate an emerging
or acquired skill
TASL Evaluation Forms






Five sentence levels
Hierarchial sequence of language development
Syntactic Types
Syntactic Elements
Reference Form
Examples of acceptable productions are written on the
forms
Advantages of the TASL
 Developed by experienced deaf educators
 Less stringent criteria
 Avoids controversy between prompted and spontaneous
productions
 Concise evaluation forms
 Allows teacher creativity
Limitations of the TASL
 An inexperienced teacher may need a more stringent
criteria
 Easy to be too lenient about what is considered “acquired”
 Geared toward experienced deaf educators
CASLLS Manual
 Comprehensive
 Provides suggestion of how to obtain language samples
and construct activities
 Provides a rating system
 emerging
 mastered in some contexts
 generalized
 Language is evaluated at five levels
 Evaluation forms have acceptable productions written on
them
CASLLS Evaluation Forms
 Provides acceptable sentences on the form itself
 Hierarchial sequence of language development
 Age norms are written above each grammatical category
Advantages of the CASLLS
 Provides a review of language acquisition in a concise
manner
 Useful to inexperienced teachers or those who do not have
a strong language background
 Comprehensive
 Has a pre-verbal level that would be beneficial for birth to
age three programs
Limitations of the CASLLS





Manual was overwhelming
Contains unnecessary information for experienced teachers
Six evaluation forms
Norms are written on the evaluation forms
Evaluation forms required frequent references to the
manual
 Written by a linguist
 Does not distinguish between a selected objective versus
an acquired objective versus an emerging objective
Conclusion
 The TAGS is the oldest of the three assessment tools and
proved to be the easiest to understand, use, and explain
 Provided the most specific criteria and left minimal
questions when assessing language
 TASL is very similar to the TAGS, therefore, transition
from the TAGS to the TASL would not be difficult
 Perhaps the CASLLS would have been easier to administer
if the evaluator observed a demonstration and/or video
Descargar

A Comparison of Three Language Assessment Tools