Oral Language Assessment

The video provides a brief overview of how to capture student talk. Available for download at the bottom of this page are blank versions of the three tools mentioned in this video. 

Capturing and analyzing brief snippets of students oral language is a crucial component to supporting their language development. The goal is to help teachers listen, record and analyze student interactions in a variety of settings: whole group, small group, one on one, between peers, or with a teacher. This provides the needed information about what language structures the student holds and help determine what our next steps will be to support student growth.

With practice, capturing and codifying oral language becomes easier and more valuable as a formative assessment process. The Oral Language Record (OLR) tool provides a frame for capturing student talk and documents growth over time. Additional tools include a scoring rubric based on observable behaviors and language production and an analysis tool to help determine a student’s strengths and next steps. 

There are a variety of ways to capture student talk. In addition to paper and pencil, teachers have been recording student talk with their phones, video cameras, iPad, iPod, digital recorders, and so on. The method used to capture talk is up to you.

We suggest as a starting point to choose a case study student. Focus on capturing the student’s interactions in a variety of settings whether you are working one on one with the student, listening into a peer conversation during collaborative learning times, recess, lunch, small group instruction or whole group share out.  

Use the OLR to transcribe small samples of the child’s output. The analysis and rubric tools will help you to score and analyze language patterns and behaviors. Using this protocol each month will provide documentation of growth for your case study student and inform your next steps. 

To use the rubric, you would highlight what behaviors and structures the student has in place. This allows you to determine what the child holds and where they need to go to show growth. The analysis tool helps you to determine next steps in your instruction based on what you have observed, to provide the scaffold(s) the child need to grow.

Click the images below to download the tools and an overview of this page.

Oral Language Analysis ToolBlank OLR FormOral Language RubricAssessment Overview