Writing Skill & Testing Written Expression

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 75,469
ISSN: 1538-320

Children who have difficulty writing are at a disadvantage in their schoolwork. Children with disabilities are at risk for writing failure.

It is important to monitor writing skill using written language testing. Caution! All tests of written expression are not created equal. Small differences between tests can result in large differences in scores.

This issue of the Special Ed Advocate, Dr. Melissa Farrall explains the importance of measuring specific skills when evaluating writing expression. You will learn what areas should be included in a written language test and learn what commonly used tests of written expression measure.

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Written Language Evaluations Test Different Skills

"Writing tests reflect different views of how children learn to write."

Comprehensive evaluations in writing should include measures of alphabet knowledge, handwriting and/or keyboarding, spelling, the ability to formulate sentences and paragraphs, writing fluency, essay and report writing, the ability to plan and organize a story, and a review of classroom writing samples.

In Testing Written Expression: Myths and Misconceptions, Dr. Melissa Farrall explains what should be included in a written language evaluation.


Myths and Misconceptions About Written Language Testing

Myth #1: All tests of written expression are created equal.

Myth #2: Short and easy does it.

Myth #3: Written language is separate from oral language.

Myth #4: ...


Commonly Used Tests of Written Expression

Dr. Farrall explains "scores on tests do not tell the whole story. When evaluating writing skill, it is important to look at the skills tested."

In Testing Written Expression: Myths and Misconceptions, Dr. Farrall describes tests that measure different skills in written expression. Learn more about:

  • Woodcook-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III)
  • Test of Written Language, Fourth Edition (TOWL-4)
  • KTEA-II Written Expression Subtest
  • Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS)

More About Evaluations

You'll find information, articles, resources, and answers to FAQs at Assessments, Evaluations and Tests.

Learn about the most commonly used tests of reading - what they measure, how they are administered, and their limitations in Reading Tests: What They Measure and Don't Measure.


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