Diagnose vocabulary and semantics problems that influence academic success. This diagnostic test of expressive vocabulary gives you a picture of your students' grasp of semantics and how they store, recall, and use vocabulary.
The Word Test 2 Elementary assesses a child's ability to recognize and express semantic attributes critical to vocabulary growth and language competency. Knowledge of a child's strengths and weaknesses in semantic organization helps you understand how the child attaches meaning to words and why she struggles in the classroom.
The six subtests of The Word Test 2 Elementary measure skills that correlate with word mastery and academic success. Test items are from the curriculum, including language arts, social studies, arithmetic, health, and science. There are fifteen tasks in each subtest.
- Associations—choose one semantically-unrelated word from among four and explain the choice in relation to the common category of the other three words
- Synonyms—give a one-word synonym for each stimulus word
- Semantic Absurdities—identify and repair an absurd statement
- Antonyms—give a one-word opposite for each stimulus word
- Definitions—define words
- Flexible Word Use—give multiple meanings for words
The test should only be administered by a trained professional familiar with language disorders (e.g., speech-language pathologist, psychologist, teacher of the learning disabled, special education consultant).
- Each subtest begins with a demonstration item.
- All test items are presented verbally in a conversational style to the students.
- Each task is presented in its entirety to every student.
- 30 minutes
Scoring/Types of Scores
- Each response receives a 1 for a correct response or a 0 for an incorrect response
- Allowable prompts and acceptable responses are listed on the test form
- Correct and incorrect response examples are listed in the test manual
- Raw scores for each subtest and the total test can be converted to:
- Age Equivalents
- Percentile Ranks
- Standard Scores
Discussion of Performance
The Discussion of Performance section in the Examiner's Manual guides the examiner to make appropriate and educationally-relevant recommendations for remediation based on a clear understanding of each subtest. There are examples of how weaknesses are exhibited in the classroom and instructional suggestions to assist with remediation.
Standardization and Statistics
The Word Test 2 Elementary was standardized on 1,940 subjects. Demographics reflect the national school population from the 2000 National Census (the most recent census data at the time of publication) for race, gender, age, and educational placement.
- Reliability—established by the use of test-retest and internal consistency methods. Reliability coefficient for the total test was .93. SEM for the total test was 3.46. Internal consistency (KR20 reliability coefficients and test-retest) was highly satisfactory for all tasks and the total test at all age levels.
- Validity—established by the use of content validity and internal consistency analyses. Contrasted groups analysis shows the test clearly discriminates subjects with typical language development from subjects with language disorders. In point biserial correlations 90% of the individual items showed statistically significant average correlations with task scores. Task intercorrelations and correlations of individual tasks with the total test show the tasks assess separate language functions, but also measure a common general dimension. Overall, internal consistency estimates are clearly satisfactory.
- Race/Socioeconomic Group Difference Analyses—conducted at the item and subtest levels. Differences at the item level were analyzed utilizing z-tests for racial differences. Differences at the subtest level were analyzed utilizing Chi Square Analysis and Analysis of Variance F-tests. There were some minimal ethnic/racial differences in student performance with the most pronounced differences in the Associations, Antonyms, and Flexible Word Use tasks.
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- Students need to understand semantic connections among words. It may be necessary to target understanding of basic concepts that underpin the vocabulary required to access the curriculum (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
- Neuropsychological studies provide convincing evidence that semantic knowledge is organized categorically and functionally and these are important elements of semantic knowledge. Semantic knowledge is thought to drive the processing meaning in language (Rhodes & Donaldson, 2008).
- Direct and indirect instruction of vocabulary words helps students boost reading comprehension and improve performance for semantic tasks (NRP, 2000).
- In a longitudinal study of children from grade 1 through grade 6, the best predictor of reading comprehension was vocabulary knowledge, more so than decoding skills or listening comprehension (Verhoeven & Van Leeuwe, 2008).
- Fisher and Blachowicz (2005) found semantic connections among words, including instruction on synonyms, antonyms, and word classes, beneficial for significant gains in vocabulary development among struggling elementary readers and English language learners.
The WORD Test 2 Elementary incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Fisher, P.J., & Blachowicz, C.L.Z. (2005). Vocabulary instruction in a remedial setting. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 21, 281-300.
National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implication for reading instruction—Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/upload/smallbook_pdf.pdf
Rhodes, S.M., & Donaldson, D.I. (2008). Association and not semantic relationships elicit the N400 effect: Electrophysiological evidence from an explicit language comprehension task. Psychophysiology, 45, 50-59.
Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.
Verhoeven, L., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2008). Prediction of developmental reading comprehension: A longitudinal study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 407-423.