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OWLSAuthor: Elizabeth Carrow-WoolfolkPublication Date: 1995Ages: 3 to 21 years

ORAL AND WRITTEN LANGUAGE SCALESListening Comprehension and Oral Expression1Areas Tested

speakinglisteningThe OWLs is assess three areas of language


For purposes of our presentation we will only be discussing oral and listening scales. Another group will be completing the written scale.2The OWLS MeasuresLexical SyntacticSyntactic constructionSupralinguistic

The Oral Expression also includes Pragmatic Language

The items covered by the Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression are: Lexical comprehension of nouns, verbs, modifiers, personal and demonstrative pronouns, prepositions, idioms, words with multiple meanings, words that represent direction, quantity, spatial relations, among others. Syntactic comprehension of noun and verb modulators (number, tense, gender, voice, person, and case)Syntactic construction embedded sentences, coordination, subordination, negation, direct/indirect object. Supralinguistic - language analysis on a level such as comprehension of figurative language and humor; derivation of meaning from context, logic, and inference; and other higher-order thinking skills.The Oral Expression also includes Pragmatic Language or functional language, which comprises of appropriate responses in specific situations, such as questions, courtesy responses, reasonable explanations, etc.

3What is the purpose of using OWLS? Learning disabilitiesLanguage disordersOther related difficultiesIdentificationInterventionProgress MonitoringResearchGathering dataComparative studies

Addressing potential academic difficultiesRecord of growthThe OWLS is an individually administered assessment of language skills and specific performance in areas of speaking listening, and writing. The OWLS is an instrument that could be used for assessing learning difficulties that might be language related.

For purpose of Identification: The scales are useful in identifying students that have learning disabilities, language disorders and other related difficultiesCLICK

Intervention: OWLS assessment can be the first step in addressing potential academic difficultiesCLICK

Progress monitoring: provides a record growth from preschool through age 21CLICK

Research assist gathering longitudinal data using the same test content it permits comparative studies of various language impairments. CLICK4

Listening Comprehension Scale

The first scale we are going to discuss is the Listening Comprehension Scale.When administering the OWLS, the listening comprehension scale is always given first.CLICK5The Listening Comprehension Scale

111 items5 to 15 minutes

A spoken response is not required.

12346The listening Comprehension scale consist of 111 items, and it takes 5 to 15 minutes to be administered. Timing greatly depends on the age of the examinee.

Administration of the Listening Comprehension Scale involves the examinee to select one out of four pictures that best describes the verbal stimulus read by the examiner

The examinee must select by pointing to or saying the number of the picture that best depicts the verbal stimulus.

A spoken response is not required.

To start the examination:*Administer Example 1 (and if necessary Example 2 and 3). If the examinee responds correctly to examples continue the test with age appropriate Start ItemIf the examinee demonstrates difficulty with the examples, it is likely he or she will have difficulty with the designated Start Item. In this case, you should, use and earlier Start Item than the one indicated by chronological age.*Read each item only once.

First errorCeiling ItemBasal ItemStart ItemBasalCeilingItems 1-51SUBTOTAL 41 (Maximum 51 points)Scoring Sample7Oral Expression Scale

*8The Oral Expression Scale

96 items10 to 15 minutes

Here is Mary (point). Mary is a girl.Here is John (point). John is a _______BOYA spoken response is required for every item. Gestures are not acceptable responses

9Administration of the Oral Expression Scale involves the examinee to respond verbally to the verbal stimulus read by the examiner by describing a picture, finishing the description of picture, or by answering a question.

In some items, the examiner describes the first picture and the examinee responds by describing the second.

In other items, the examiner describes a portion of a picture and the examinee responds by finishing the description or answering a question.

A spoken response is required for every item. Gestures are not acceptable responses

Administer Example 1 or 2 to the examinee; regardless of if the examinee got the example correct or incorrect, you start with the age appropriate item.*Read each item to the examinee. The examinee has 10 seconds to answer. If the examinee doesnt answer in 10 seconds or asks you to repeat you may repeat the item only once. Document on the record form the examinee didnt respond and you read it again. If the examinee still doesn't respond then the examinee gets a score of 0. If the examinee responds correctly the examinee gets a score of 1.

Sample Oral Expression Scale Scoring (Age: 12 to 13 yrs old )In this picture, Aunt Lucy asks Mary what time her friends party begins . Mary calls her friend to find outWhat should Mary ask? What time is your party?When will the party begin?What time does your party starts?What time is it?What time are you coming over?(a specific time)Response:

1 0 CORRECT RESPONSESample 12 to 13 yrs old

In this picture, Mother asks Tom what time his friends party begins (point). Tom calls his friend to find out (point). What should Tom ask?

10What time is your party?When will the party begin?What time does your party starts?What time is it?What time are you coming over?(a specific time)Response:

1 0 INCORRECT RESPONSEWhere do you live? (Age: 12 to 13 yrs old )In this picture, Aunt Lucy asks Mary what time her friends party begins . Mary calls her friend to find outWhat should Mary ask? 11Oral Expression Scale: Possible correct and incorrect responses are listed on the record form. Space is provided for writing other responses. Scoring rubrics and multiple-point criteria for scoring selected items are also provided on the record form to help in preliminary scoring. Item-by-Item Scoring Rules are provided in the Manual as a final check.

An additional feature called Descriptive Categories of Responses is provided for the Oral Expression Scale. This elective option allows the examiner to identify the particular category of each correct and incorrect response. For example, the examiner can determine whether the correct responses are preferred or acceptable, and whether the incorrect responses are grammatically or semantically/pragmatically incorrect, or both. This information may be used descriptively and will aid in the analysis of the examinee's strengths and weaknesses in oral language.

The overall raw score is determined just like Listening Comprehension Scale; Basal Rule and Ceiling Rules. Always use the lowest basal and the highest ceiling. The manual has specific rules and information for scoring that need to be followed.

Sample size: 1,985 individuals Age Range: 3 to 21 years. DemographicsNorming SampleThe Sample size of the norming sample during the standardization was 1,985 individuals. (CLICK)

Age ranged from 3 to 21 years. (CLICK)

The characteristics of the sample included gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (maternal education level).

Listening Comprehension Scale was given first and the Oral was given last.Examinees aged 3 to 4 were only given the Listening and Oral Scales.Examinees aged 5-21 took all three scales. (CLICK)12Norming Sample Geographic Area


4241 374338403645443933343532485049479798991031139192939095969410110456661101081091078485878668738988NORTHCENTRALSOUTHWESTNORTHEASTGeographic regionSouth36.0%North Central25.1%West20.2%Northeast18.7%SouthWestNorth EastNorthCentralThe norming sample was collected from 74 sites nationwide, Four different geographical areasAlthough it was quite spread out, the south has the largest percentage

13RaceWhite70.9%Black14.9%Hispanic10.1%Other 4.1%Maternal Education LevelHigh School Graduate39.3%1 to 3 Yrs of College or Technical School25.2%4 or More Yrs of College19.7%Grade 11 or less15.8%Mother's education level was used to indicate socioeconomic status.Norming SampleBlackOtherWhiteHispanicGrade 11 or lessHigh School1-3 yrs college or Tech school4 or more yrs collegeGenderFemales50.7%Males49.3%;FemalesMalesItems to highlight:the OWLS sample was selected to match the US Census data from the 1991 census current population survey.



Methods Used to test Reliabilitysplit half method. test-retest reliability over an 8 week median. interrater reliability.

(Click)To test the reliability of the OWLS internal reliability data and standard errors of measurement were computed using the split half method. They looked at odds and evens. A Rausch ability was computed for each half and the scores were correlated and adjusted using the Spearman-Brown formula. Oral reliabilities were slightly higher than the Listening probably because the examinees could guess on the multiple choice. Standard errors of measurement were computed and had confidence intervals for 68%, 90% and 95%(CLICK)

The stability of the test was examined using test-retest. The test was administered twice. The time between each test range