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A Comparison of Three Language Assessment Tools Laura Wrobel Washington University-Central Institute for the Deaf.

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Presentation on theme: "A Comparison of Three Language Assessment Tools Laura Wrobel Washington University-Central Institute for the Deaf."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Comparison of Three Language Assessment Tools Laura Wrobel Washington University-Central Institute for the Deaf

2 Introduction §Language assessment tools allow deaf educators to assess the language of their students. §Based on the results of the assessment, educators can: l select Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) objectives l plan instruction to promote language acquisition l monitors progress of language acquisition l aids in reporting

3 Introduction §The following assessment tools have been developed to aid in assessing language: l The Teacher of Grammatical Structures (TAGS) l The Teacher Assessment of Spoken Language (TASL) l The Cottage Acquisition Scales for Listening, Language, and Speech (CASLLS)

4 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

5 Method §Manuals and evaluation forms were obtained, read, and analyzed §Spontaneous language samples were collected l Child #1 at 2-3 word level l Child #2 at 4-5 word level §After the language samples were analyzed using the evaluation forms, conclusions were drawn

6 TAGS Manual §Provides a detailed rationale and description of its rating forms §Explains how to determine where to begin when analyzing a childs 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

7 TAGS Manual §Each competency level is rated. The rater decides if the level of competence: l has not been demonstrated l is emerging l is acquired §Explains dotted (xs) and half dotted (xs) §Explains solid (xs) and half (xs)

8 TAGS Evaluation Forms §Assesses language at three levels §Lists grammatical categories §Provides sample acceptable productions on the form

9 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

10 Limitations of the TAGS §Criteria for mastery is very stringent §Criterion of acquiring any competency level is the teachers decision §Difficult to distinguish between prompted and spontaneous productions

11 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 childs language §Describes syntactic elements and sentence types

12 TASL Manual §Each sentence type or syntactic element is rated as: l emerging l acquired §Dotted (xs) and half dotted (xs) are used to indicate that a sentence type or element is selected as an objective §Solid (xs) and half (xs) are used to indicate an emerging or acquired skill

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 CASLLS Manual §Comprehensive §Provides suggestion of how to obtain language samples and construct activities §Provides a rating system l emerging l mastered in some contexts l generalized §Language is evaluated at five levels §Evaluation forms have acceptable productions written on them

17 CASLLS Evaluation Forms §Provides acceptable sentences on the form itself §Hierarchial sequence of language development §Age norms are written above each grammatical category

18 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

19 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

20 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


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