Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Language Assessment Using Wordless Books

January presents a great opportunity to authentically assess your students’ literacy skills.   After a few weeks of vacation, how many literacy tools have your students retained?   By conducting assessments, you’ll get a clear picture of which lessons students remember from last semester and which concepts still need reinforcement. 

English Language Learners have most likely spent their winter vacation with their families, speaking little to no English. An assessment of their language skills will help you tailor your future literacy lessons.

The   Oral Language Development Series Teacher’s Guide   states, “Listening to students talk is one of the most powerful formative assessments you can use. Capturing and analyzing brief snippets of students’ oral language is a crucial component of supporting their language development. Teachers should listen to, record, and analyze student interactions in a variety of settings: whole group, small group, one-on-one, between peers or with a teacher” (8).

If you don’t have much time to individually assess each student,   the wordless books in the   Oral Language Development Series   will help you quickly and easily analyze language skills . Each wordless book contains relatable photographs that will stimulate any student’s creativity.

What is happening on this page?

The following passage from the   Teacher’s Guide  explains how to prompt students and record their language skills: ‘“Tell me what’s happening on this page.’ Record exactly what the child says for each page. Once you have a sampling of the child’s output, you can analyze it to see what structure that child holds independently... You can use any wordless book to assess a student’s language structure. The key issue is to have a natural conversation about the topic and see what language the child generates” (8).

Remember, oral language skills go hand-in-hand with reading and writing skills . To access the assesment rubric and learn more about the importance of oral language, download our Teacher’s Guide for free at the bottom of this post!


Click the image below to download the Oral Language Development Series Teacher's Guide for FREE!