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By: Vicki Pederson & Taylor Leslie

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Test of Language Development (4
Primary (TOLD-P:4)
Intermediate (TOLD-I:4)

Acronym: TOLD - 4
Authors: Donald D. Hammill & Phyllis L. Newcomer
Publisher: pro-ed
TOLD-P:4 - $345.00
TOLD-I:4 - $239.00

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
** To Assess Spoken Language in Children**

1. To Identify students who are significantly
below peers in oral language proficiency

2. To determine students specific strengths and
weaknesses in oral language skills

3. To document progress in remedial programs

4. To measure oral language
in research studies
EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
TOLD Primary 4-0 to 8-11
Normed on 1,108 students based on 2005 census
TOLD Intermediate 8-0 to 17-11
Normed on 1,097 students in 2006/2007

Representative of the U.S. as a whole in regards to
gender, geographic region, race, Hispanic status,
family income, educational attainment of parents,
age and disability

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Professionals with formal training in

Need to have knowledge about tests and
measurements, statistics, and procedures about the
administration, scoring and interpretation

Need to be trained in the evaluation of linguistic

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
1. Semantics study of meaning in language
How meaning is conveyed through words and sentences

2. Grammar structural organization of language
a) Syntax: rules that govern how words are used to form sentences,
phrases and clauses
b) Morphology: study of the smallest meaningful units of language

3. Phonology the sound system of a language

4. Pragmatics the study of communicative language

5. Linguistic Systems the manner in which language is used and

Prior to 1982:
No language assessment that had strictly linguistic
orientation for 9-0 to 12-0

In 1982 Hammill and Newcomer developed:
TOLD-Intermediate for ages 9-0 through 12-0
Original TOLD was renamed TOLD-Primary for the
younger age group

TOLD-P (1982)
Renamed TOLD-P to distinguish from TOLD-I
Allowed examiner to combine subtests to generate the 4 additional composite scores
(listening, speaking, semantics, syntax)
Manual was rewritten
Normative sample increase from 1,014 to 1,836
Evidence of content validity added
TOLD-P:2 (1988)
Word discrimination and word articulation were added as core subtests to construct the
composite- phonology
Normative same was increase to 2,436 and information on ethnicity provided
Number of items on picture and oral vocabulary were increased and confusing items
Findings of previous studies were integrated into manual
TOLD-P:3 (1997)
Normative data from 1996, reflective of the 1990 census
New reliability coefficients and validity studies
2 new subtests phonemic analysis and relational vocabulary
New composite score organizing
3 phonological subtests were now supplemental
Elimination of floor/ceiling effects

Complete directions for administering

Streamlined test manual

Study of item bias expanded

Internal consistency: .80 - .97
Test-retest: .78 - .92
Alternate form: no alternate forms
Inter-rater: .97 - .99

Construct/Concurrent: Available
Predictive: Not Available
1. Picture Vocabulary
2. Relational Vocabulary
3. Oral Vocabulary
4. Syntactic Understanding
5. Sentence Imitation
6. Morphological Completion

7. Word Discrimination
8. Word Analysis
9. Word Articulation

34 items
Measures the extent to which the child
understands meanings associated with
spoken English words

Example: Examiner says, See these pictures?
Show me baby. Point to baby.
34 items
Measures a childs ability to understand and
orally express the relationship between two

Example: I want you to tell me how two
things are alike. If I said, how are a cap and a
hat alike, what would you say?
38 items
Measures a childs ability to give oral
definitions to common English words

Example: I want you to tell me what a word
means. For example, if I said, whats a dog?
you might says, its an animal, it barks, it
wears a collar.
30 items
Assesses the childs ability to comprehend
the meaning of sentences

Example: Im going to show you some
pictures. Then Im going to say a sentence. I
want you to point to the picture that matches
what I say. The ball is round.
36 items
Measures a childs ability to imitate English

Example: I am going to say some sentences.
After I have finished, I want you to say exactly
what I have said. Tom is big.

38 items
Measures a childs ability to recognize,
understand, and use common English
morphological forms

Example: Carla has a dress. Denise had a
dress. They have two ______.
28 items
Assesses the childs ability to recognize the
different in significant speech sounds

Example: Cat-can. Are they the same or
different? Moon-moon. Are they the same or
22 items
Measures a childs ability to segment words
into smaller phonemic unit

Example: Im going to say a word and I want
you to repeat it. Something. Now say it again,
but dont say thing.
25 items
Measures a childs ability to utter important
English speech sounds

Example: The child is shown a picture of a
judge. He sentenced the robber to jail. He is
the ________.
Overall Language ability
Ceilings are established for all subtests when
student responds incorrectly to 5 consecutive
questions (no basals)
No Ceilings on Supplemental subtests

Raw scores are calculated by summing correct

May be converted to:
Age equivalents
Percentile ranks
Scaled scores (mean=10, sd=3)
Composite scores (mean=100, sd=15)
TOLD-I:1 (1982)
Designed for ages 8-6 through 12-11
For clinicians to measure language in a linguistic frame only

TOLD-I:2 (1988)
1 of the 5 subtests was eliminated due to low reliability and 2 new subtests
were added to measure semantics

TOLD-1:3 (1997)
New normative data was collected
Range was extended down to 8-0
Vocabulary subtest was replaced with a picture vocabulary subtest

TOLD-I:4 (2008)
Age extended up to 17-11
Semantics: The study of meaning in language
3 Subtests
Picture Vocabulary
Relational Vocabulary
Multiple Meanings

Grammar: Structural Organization of Language
3 Subtests
Morphological Comprehension
Word Ordering
Sentence Combining

** Does not test Phonology (sound systems of language) like
the primary version does

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Construct: Grammar/Speaking
Ability Measured: Constructing Sentences
30 items
Must form 1 complex sentence from 2 simple sentences
Students must understand compound subjects, objects, verbs,
adjectives and adverbs

Example: I like milk & I like cookies
Correct Response: Combine to I like milk and cookies

Ability Measured:
Understanding Word
80 items

Example: Examiner says
point to the picture that best
goes with these words
monkey see
Correct Response: Student
must point to the picture that
best represents that

Construct: Grammar/Organizing
Ability Measured: Constructing Sentences
32 items

Example: Examiner says your, is, name, what
Correct Response: Student must order them into a
sentence What is your name?
Construct: Semantics/Organizing
Ability Measured: Understanding Word Similarities
30 items

Example: Examiner says hot, cold, warm and student
must say how they are alike,
Correct Response: they are all temperatures

Construct: Grammar/Listening
Ability Measured: Recognizing Grammatical Sentences
50 items
Student must distinguish between sentences which
have correct grammar and those which do not

Example: Examiner says You tell me if the sentence I
say is correct or incorrect He drinked the cola
Correct Response: It is incorrect

Construct: Semantics/Speaking
Ability Measured: Providing Word Meanings
15 items

Example: Examiner says a single word which has 2 or
more meanings cent/scent/sent
Correct Response: Student must respond with as many
meanings as they know
Smallest unit of money
Testing Time: subtests are not timed
TOLD Primary: 30 minutes to 1 Hour
TOLD Intermediate: 30 to 60 minutes

Administer Individually
Administer subtests in order
Subtests should be able to be completed in one
testing session
Unless child is young, immature or inattentive
Repeat question only 1x if student requests

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Scoring the test is rather basic

On all Subtests other than Multiple meanings items are
scored as correct (1 point) or incorrect (0 points)
Testing begins with the first item and stopped when the ceiling is

Multiple Meanings Subtest point for each correct
meaning given
All items should be administered (ceiling rules dont apply)

If a student does not respond in 10 seconds, the item is
scored 0

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Sentence Combining, Word Ordering &
Relational Vocabulary Subtests
Ceiling = 3 items missed in sequence
Morphological Comprehension
Ceiling = 3 of any 5 consecutive items after item
Picture Vocabulary
Ceiling = 2 items missed in sequence

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Recording and
Step 1:Identifying Information

Step 2: Subtest Performance
- Raw scores, age equivalents,
percentile ranks, scaled scores
and descriptive terms

Step 3: Composite Performance
- Scaled scores to composite

Step 4: Descriptive Terms
- Very Superior to Very Poor

Be familiar with the test manual
Practice administering the test
Have all materials necessary ready
Picture book, examiner record booklet and a pencil
Administer tests in a quiet, comfortable location without distractions
Establish rapport with students
Praise and encourage students without prompting students
You did that quickly is acceptable Very good not acceptable
Stop testing when student looses interest or becomes fatigued

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Easy to administer/Score

Comprehensive broad based way to
identify strengths and weaknesses in
oral language development

Administered in less than 1 hour

Expanded Age Range up to 17-11

Updated Norms based on large
nationally representative sample

Computer Scoring is available

Yields Standard Scores, Percentiles,
and Age Equivalents

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie
Child must understand and
speak English

Child must be able to respond
to oral questions

Results are not sufficiently
specific to direct instructional

Based on American Norms
Hammill, D. D., & Newcomer, P. L. (2008). Test of language development intermediate. (4
ed.). Austin, Texas: pro-ed.
McLoughlin, J. A., & Lewis, R. B. (2008). Assessing students with special needs. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Pro-ed inc.. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Western psychological services. (n.d.). Retrieved from,235020&_dad=portal&_schem

EDPS 652 Test Review: TOLD-4
Vicki Pederson & Taylor-Rae Leslie