Understanding the OWLS-II Assessment (Part 1)

OWLS-II provides enough information for finding and solving oral and written language problems among individuals. This is because it is easy to give and is based in an integrated theory. People can use it to check students with language problems. These professionals can then use the results to help students solve these difficulties.


  • Definition of OWLS-II
  • The evaluation scales done by OWLS-II
  • Listening Comprehension Scale (LCS)
  • Oral Expression Scale
  • Reading comprehension scale
  • Written expression scale
  • Use of the OWLS-II
  • What new form for OWLS-II has eben introduced
  • Closing remarks

What is OWLS-II?

It is identified as a great tool for checking language abilities. It added several features that help with the process. They include improved scoring guides, updated norms, full color material, and a reading comprehension scale. These features make users able to understand the tool in terms of how to use it and get the results.

What does it evaluate?

It looks at four language processes discussed below in detail. Every scale looks at four language structures. It provides a better method for two reasons. Firstly, similar languages are checked in each language process. Secondly, when the four scales are used together, they give a wide score profile. This score profile has three advantages.

  1. Firstly, it identifies language delays.
  2. Also, it shows weaknesses and strengths in every area.
  3. Then it guides intervention for addressing identified language difficulties.

Let us look at the four scales in detail. This will help understand it

Listening Comprehension Scale (LCS)

LCS checks on receptive language. This is the understanding of spoken language. It is best for ages 3 through 21. It is given for 10 to 20 minutes.  This scale does not need an examinee to read. Instead, an examiner reads aloud a certain word to the student. Then, the student responds by finding a picture that best shows the meaning of that word. The examinee has to choose from four pictures. These pictures are usually colorful and updated. They are also balanced in terms of gender and race differences. Correct answers are noted on the record form for on spot scoring. Examiners use basals and ceilings to make sure that students get tasks that match their abilities.

Oral Expression Scale

This scale checks on expressive language. This is the use of spoken language. The examiner is required to give students visual and oral prompts. In response, the examinee is expected to;

  • Firstly, answer questions
  • Secondly, complete sentences
  • Thirdly, generate sentences

Put the responses on the record form for easy scoring. Other acceptable responses allow many dialects such as African American English. Give the scale for 10 to 30 minutes. It also uses basals and ceilings to makes sure that students get tasks that match their abilities.

Reading comprehension scale

OWLS II uses a reading comprehension scale to check written language. It is good for individuals between five and twenty one years. An examinee reads a prompt. Then, chooses an option from four options. The scale helps in checking the factors affecting reading. Give the scale between 10 and 30 minutes. Note the responses on the record form for easier scoring.

Written expression scale

This is the fourth scale. It checks the examinee’s ability to use written language to communicate. It is also more effective in getting different responses. The prompts are similar to what the student may face in class. The process takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

The record form has guidelines for scoring. The examiner follows these rules for best results. The record form also has worksheets and descriptive analysis tables. These help in getting a good summary of the examinee’s writing.

Use of the OWLS-II

It is useful in various ways. This is considering that its scales measure different language and covers a wide age range. This is good for many people like the school psychologists. They can use it for different reasons including;

  • Firstly, checking students will different language difficulties.
  • Secondly, finding any difficulties in education.
  • Thirdly, checking students’ growth.
  • Finally, getting a lot of data on language difficulties.

A new form

OWLS II introduced a parallel form allowing examiners to retest students on all scales within a short time. Also, the form gives an examiner a clear performance of a student in all areas. This makes it easier to compare the ability of a student in all scales.

Final Thought

OWLS II is one of the best tools for checking on a student’s abilities related to language. It gives a useful picture of the available language skills. It is easy to use, and it is effective. So, it provides enough information for finding oral and written language problems among students. With a deeper understanding of this tool, instructors can help children overcome different language difficulties. We shall discuss it in more details in part B.

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