by Donald D Hammill, Virginia L Brown, Stephen C Larsen and J Lee Wiederholt
Qualification Level: D (Speech Therapist)
Purpose: Measures spoken and written language abilities
Ages: 12 through to 24-11yrs
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 60 minutes
The Test of Adolescent and Adult Language — Fourth Edition (TOAL-4) is efficient, reliable, and valid. It was designed to measure spoken and written language abilities of adolescents and young adults, with varying degrees of knowledge of the English language. It was normed on 1,671 individuals in 35 states, all between the ages of 12-0 years and 24-11. It is nonbiased in regard to gender, race, and ethnicity.
The TOAL-4 has six subtests:
- Word Opposites — examinee is asked for a spoken word of exact meaning of the word examiner says; the opposite of “Day” is “Night”
- Word Derivations — examinee is asked for a missing word at the end of the second sentence the examiner says, deriving from a key word; “Laugh. The play was very funny. The people broke out laughing.”
- Spoken Analogies — examinee is asked to finish an examiner’s partial analogous sentence with a word to complete the analogy; “Birds are to sing, as dogs are to bark.”
- Word Similarities — examinee is asked to write a synonym (correct spelling is irrelevant) for a printed stimulus word; “Pig” is written after seeing the word “Hog.”
- Sentence Combining — examinee is asked to write one grammatically correct sentence from the given two or more sentences; “We ate lunch,” and “It was an hour ago” can be combined into, “We ate lunch an hour ago.”
- Orthographic Usage — examinee is asked to write down all the correct words and punctuation marks to all the sentences given; “I want to go home” can be corrected to “I want to go home.”
Test results can be reported as percentile ranks and scaled scores. The scaled scores of these subtests can be combined to form three composites (Spoken Language, Written Language, and General Language) to estimate an individual’s status relative to the abilities measured by the test.
- Spoken Language — formed by combining the scaled scores of the subtests Word Opposites, Word Derivations, and Spoken Analogies.
- Written Language — formed by combining the scaled scores of the subtests Word Similarities, Sentence Combining, and Orthographic Usage.
- General Language — formed by combining the scaled scores of all six subtests.
- The theoretical model on which the test was built has been modified to better reflect the manner in which adolescents and adults actually use language.
- The number of subtests has been reduced from eight to six, thereby considerably shortening the administration and scoring time.
- All new normative data were collected in the fall of 2004 through to Autumn of 2005.
- Demographic characters of the normative sample are keyed to those reported in the census data projections for 2004.
- Geographic region, gender, ethnicity, Hispanic status, family income level, and parental education were stratified by age.
- Studies showing the absence of gender and ethnic bias have been provided.
- Reliability coefficients have been computed by age and subgroups within the normative sample (i.e. males, females, European Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, individuals who are gifted and talented, and those with attention/deficit/hyperactivity disorders or learning difficulties), as well as for the entire normative group.
- All new validity studies have been conducted. Special attention has been devoted to showing that the test results are valid for a wide variety of subgroups, as well as for the general population.
- Special care was taken to ensure that the new test has no floor or ceiling effects.
- The overall look of the test has been updated and enhanced.