(CASL™) Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language™

by Elizabeth Carrow-Woolfolk, PhD

(CASL™) Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language™

by Elizabeth Carrow-Woolfolk, PhD
Benefits Provides an in-depth, research-based assessment of oral language skills
Ages 3 to 21 years
Admin time 30-45 minutes for the core battery
Format 15 Individually administered tests with a multiple-choice response format requiring no reading or writing
Scores Individual test scores; Core Composite; Processing Index (representing receptive or expressive skills); and Category Index (reflecting skills in Lexical/Semantic, Syntactic, and Supralinguistic domains). Provided as age- and grade-based standard scores, grade and test-age equivalents, percentiles, normal curve equivalents, and stanines.
Publish Date 1999
Qualifications Level C required.
About Qualification Levels
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About This Product

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CASL-2 now available to order!



Ideal for measuring delayed language, spoken language disorders, dyslexia, and aphasia, the CASL is an individually administered, research-based oral language assessment battery for individuals ages 3 through 21. It provides a precise picture of language processing skills and structural knowledge, allowing you to document development from preschool through the postsecondary years. Because the CASL provides age-based norms, it satisfies IDEA requirements for identifying language impairment.

15 Stand-Alone Tests

The 15 tests included in this battery measure comprehension, expression, and retrieval skills in four structural categories:

Lexical/Semantic Tests

  • Comprehension of Basic Concepts 
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms
  • Sentence Completion
  • Idiomatic Language

Syntactic Tests     

  • Syntax Construction
  • Paragraph Comprehension 
  • Grammatical Morphemes
  • Sentence Comprehension 
  • Grammaticality Judgment

Supralinguistic Tests

  • Nonliteral Language
  • Meaning From Context
  • Inference
  • Ambiguous Sentences

Pragmatic Test

  • Pragmatic Judgment (knowledge and use of appropriate language)

Administered individually or as a group, these tests stand alone: Using information found in the Manual, you can draw clinical conclusions from the results of each one. All CASL tests are classified as either core or supplementary, depending on the age of the child assessed. Core tests measure the most representative aspects of each language category, while supplementary tests provide additional diagnostic information for use in quantitative and qualitative analyses. For several CASL tests, Descriptive Analysis Worksheets are available, allowing you to target specific skill areas for intervention.


CASL Test Age Range What Is Measured Processing Skills Item Example
Comprehension of
Basic Concepts
Core: 3–4
Comprehension of perceptual and conceptual words Receptive Here are some pictures. Point to the little cat.
Antonyms Core: 5–12
Word retrieval and knowledge of opposites Retrieval and Expressive Tell me the opposite of yes. Either yes or  ______.
Synonyms Core: 13–21
Recognition of two words that have the same meaning Receptive The first word is glad. The four words to choose from are hurt, hungry, sleepy, and happy. Which word means the same as glad?
Word retrieval given the context of a spoken sentence Retrieval and Expressive In order to start the car, Dad must turn the _______.
Oral expression of common idioms Expressive Finish what I say: After Kim broke the plate, Mother said, “Don’t cry over spilled ______.”
Core: 3–10
Grammatically correct oral expression of phrases and sentences Expressive Here the boy is standing (examiner points to the standing boy). Here (examiner points to the sitting boy) the boy is _______.
Core: 5–10
3–4 and 11–12
Comprehension of syntactic structures Receptive This story is about a family of four. Besides the mom and the dad, there are two children, a boy and a girl. The boy’s name is Rick, while the girl’s name is Anna. (Examiner repeats the story and turns the Test Book page so the examinee can see the pictures of the family.) Which one is Anna?
Core: 11–12
7–10 and 13–21
Knowledge and expression of grammatical analogies Expressive Skate is to skated, as talk is to  _______.
Core: 11–12
Given syntactically different sentences, recognition of same or different meanings Receptive The boy watched TV after supper. After he had watched TV, the boy ate supper. Do these two things mean the same? Tell me “yes” or “no.”
Core: 13–21
Judgment of and ability to correct sentence grammar Expressive The boy are happy. Does that sound right? If the examinee responds correctly with “no,” the examiner says: Now make it sound right. Change only one word.
Core: 7–21 Understanding of spoken messages independent of literal interpretation Primarily Comprehension
With Expression
When 5-year-old Jimmy started pulling his sister’s hair, Dad said, “Jim, you’re not a puppy anymore.” What did he mean?
Meaning From
Core: 13–21
Derivation of the meaning of
words from their linguistic context
Primarily Comprehension
With Expression
As they paraded slowly through the extremely narrow streets, the band members were so serried that they could hardly play their instruments next to each other. Explain what serried means.
Inference Supplementary:
Use of world knowledge to derive meaning from inferences Receptive and Expressive Before Jim left for work, he put on a heavy woolen coat. What was the weather like?
Comprehension of words, phrases, and sentences that have more
than one meaning
Primarily Comprehension
With Expression
It is light. Tell me two different meanings for this sentence.
Core: 3–21 Knowledge and use of appropriate language Primarily Expression
With Comprehension
Suppose the telephone rings. You pick it up. What do you say?


No Reading or Writing Required

The CASL is flexible and easy to administer. The core battery can be completed in just 30 to 45 minutes, and you have the option of giving only the tests you need for a particular child. The CASL requires no reading or writing—children can respond to items by speaking, pointing, or marking their choices with an X.

Test Books are self-standing and tabbed for quick, easy reference. Administration guidelines are printed on the first few pages of each book. Convenient Record Forms, one for ages 3 through 6 and another for ages 7 through 21, provide space for profile analysis, item responses, scores, and behavioral observations.

Age-Based Norms Consistent With IDEA Guidelines

     The CASL generates the following scores:

  • Core Composite
  • Processing Index (representing receptive or expressive skills)
  • Category Index (reflecting skills in Lexical/Semantic, Syntactic, and Supralinguistic domains)
  • 15 Individual Test Scores

These are available as age- and grade-based standard scores, percentiles, normal curve equivalents, grade and test-age equivalents, and stanines. 

Norms, based on a representative sample of 1,700 subjects, are provided at 6-month intervals for ages 3 and 4, at 1-year intervals for school-age children, and at multiyear intervals for upper-age groups. The standardization sample reflects the U.S. population in terms of geographic region, gender, race, and SES/parent education. In addition, it includes the following clinical groups: speech impaired, language delayed, intellectually disabled, learning disordered, emotionally disturbed, and hearing impaired.

Time-Saving Scoring Software

CASL ASSIST Software—for both Windows and Macintosh—simplifies scoring and provides a complete interpretive report. In minutes, it gives you:

  • Raw score to scale score conversions
  • All composite scores
  • Graphic score profiles
  • High-level item analysis
  • Scale score comparisons
  • Helpful narrative interpretations
  • Individualized intervention strategies and exercises

The Single Most Useful Oral Language Assessment

Compatible with IDEA specifications, the CASL is an excellent way to measure oral language skills and is unique in its coverage of the literal, figurative, and social aspects of language. It can be used with students from preschool through young adulthood, regardless of reading ability or impairment. It’s easy to administer and score. And it provides a sound basis for intervention planning.    

CASL Descriptive Analysis Worksheets

Antonyms PDF Download
Basic Concepts PDF Download
Grammaticality Judgment PDF Download
Grammatical Morphemes PDF Download
Nonliteral Language PDF Download
Sentence Completion PDF Download
Sentence Comprehension PDF Download
Synonyms PDF Download
Syntax Construction PDF Download

The CASL2 is now available for purchase. Click HERE to be redirected to the CASL2 product page.



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