Language Sample Analysis
Have you heard about SLAM? If you have ever wanted to get a language sample and evaluate it for linguistic complexity, there is a free tool called School-age Language Assessment Measures (SLAM) by the Leaders Project from the Teachers College at Columbia University. The SLAM cards are on their website for download in hard copy, but they also put all of them onto Boom.
Each SLAM card set has an English version, a Spanish version, and a bunch of other languages that they support. Here’s how I used their resources recently and how you can use them to evaluate a student:
Use as a Language Screener
First, I used the crayon picture (download the English PDF here and scroll down for the Spanish here) and it prompts you to ask some questions about the picture. I displayed the picture on my laptop and wrote out the student’s answers on the printed out response form. The crayon picture is also a Boom card.
I feel like the crayon picture can be used as a screener or part of a larger assessment. That’s because it’s short, quick and easy and they give you prompts.
Then I used a couple of the SLAM Boom cards. They are free and are in both English and Spanish. Click here to see their entire huge free collection on the Boom website. Each set guides you and your student through a sequencing a series of pictures. Then the SLAM cards prompt the student to answer questions about each story. I followed their Boom store so I can be notified when they add new sets.
Spanish Language Sample Elicitation
My favorite one was Dog Comes Home (in Spanish “Perro viene a la casa”), but there are tons in their library. If you want hard copies to print out, you can see their list here, but I personally find the Boom cards more convenient. When I was working with a student, I didn’t have access to the wifi in the building I was in. So, I used my phone as a hotspot! That way I could access my online Boom account (be sure to try that out ahead of time).
I highly recommend checking out SLAM School-age Language Assessment Measures by the Leaders Project.