Building on the strong theory and research underpinning the original OWLS, the second edition offers an integrated, global approach to language assessment. The OWLS-II adds a Reading Comprehension scale, updated norms, new items, a parallel form, improved scoring guidelines, and full-colour stimulus materials. Moreover, a helpful new handbook, Foundations of Language Assessment, explains the theory on which the OWLS-II is based, making it easier to understand the test and interpret the results.
The OWLS-II evaluates four language processes on four separate scales: Listening Comprehension, Oral Expression, Reading Comprehension, and Written Expression. Each scale assesses four linguistic structures: lexical/semantics, syntax, pragmatics, and supralinguistics. Because it assesses the same linguistic structures across four distinct language processes, the OWLS-II provides a detailed, coherent, and integrated assessment. Although the four scales can be used separately, using them together produces a comprehensive score profile that pinpoints language delays, identifies strengths and weaknesses in all areas, and guides intervention.
Together, the Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression scales assess receptive and expressive language in individuals ages 3-21 years. Individually administered, both scales use basals and ceilings to ensure that examinees are given only items that closely approximate their ability levels. Neither scale requires reading on the examinee’s part, and both scales feature colourful, updated artwork that’s balanced in terms of race, gender, and physical differences.
The OWLS-II assesses written language on two scales, Reading Comprehension and Written Expression, both designed for individuals ages 5 to 21 years. New to the second edition, the Reading Comprehension scale measures the receptive aspects of written language. Because it is based on the same theory and structure as the other OWLS-II scales, it is uniquely effective in identifying language factors that may be impairing or facilitating reading comprehension. The Written Expression Scale, which measures the expressive aspects of written language, has been significantly improved in the OWLS-II. Item additions and revisions enhance the scale’s validity and scope, as well as its ability to elicit a variety of responses and assess higher functioning individuals. In addition, scoring guidelines are now more explicit.