What is ASLAI?

Originated by Robert Hoffmeister, The American Sign Language Assessment Instrument (ASLAI) is designed to track the yearly progression of ASL and English print literacy over time for students ages 4-18. The ASLAI consists of eleven receptive tasks: five related to vocabulary, three pertaining to syntax, and two reasoning and comprehension tasks. The ASLAI is now available to schools, states, and programs throughout the country on a contract basis. For more information, contact: crt@tlcdeaf.org

© Hoffmeister, Fish, Henner, Rosenburg, Benedict, & Caldwell Harris, 2015
© Hoffmeister, & Fisher 2010 (Platform): © Hoffmeister, Fisher & McIntyre 2012 (Database design)

Sample ASLAI Questions

Sample Question

Sample Answer

ASLAI Language Skills Evaluations

ASLAI Currently Offers the Following Evaluations

Vocabulary Simple (VOCS)

Vocabulary Difficult (VOCD)

Antonyms (ANT)

Synonyms (SYN)

Vocabulary in Sentences

Real Objects & Plurals

Syntax: Simple Task (STXS)

Syntax: Difficult Task (STXD)

Analogies Task (ANG)

Comprehension (CMP) and Comprehension: Easy (CMPE)

Rhode Island Test of Language Structure (Adapted), (RITLS)

Vocabulary Simple (VOCS)
The VOCS task has 27 questions designed to be suitable for younger children or students learning ASL. There is very limited research on age of acquisition milestones and frequency of occurrence of ASL words. In order to determine which ASL words would most likely to be known at an early age, the team relied on firsthand knowledge of early ASL experiences and utterances, sign language acquisition research, and similar tests of other languages. Students from 4 to 12 years old take this subtask. A student's VOCS score represents the extent of basic ASL vocabulary knowledge, compared to other deaf students in the same age bracket.
Vocabulary Difficult (VOCD)
Difficult Vocabulary items provide an ASL definition as the stimulus, and ask the student to select from four answer options the ASL term that best matches the definition. VOCD test items were developed by a team of Deaf native signers who have experience teaching Deaf students. This task is designed for students 8 years and older.A student's score represents breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge in ASL, compared to other deaf students in the same age bracket.
Antonyms (ANT)
Antonyms test items offer an ASL term as a prompt and ask students to select the ASL response that best represents the opposite meaning of the prompt. Students 4 years of age and older are assessed for their knowledge of antonyms. A student's score on this task represents depth of vocabulary knowledge and metalinguistic judgment skills, compared to other deaf students in the same age group.
Synonyms (SYN)
Synonyms test items offer an ASL term as a prompt and ask students to select the ASL response that best represents the same meaning as the prompt. Students 4 years of age and older are assessed for their knowledge of synonyms. A student's score on the synonym task represents depth of vocabulary knowledge and metalinguistic judgment skills, compared to other deaf students in the same age group.
Vocabulary in Sentences
Vocabulary in Sentences test items offer an ASL word as a prompt and ask students to select the ASL sentence that most correctly includes the ASL prompt. This task contains many ASL words that are infrequently seen outside of rich language contexts with highly ASL fluent adults. Students 8 years and older participate in the VST subtask. A student's VST score represents knowledge of idiomatic and infrequent ASL vocabulary and the ability to contextualize ASL words, compared to other deaf students in the same age group.
Real Objects & Plurals
The ROPL task has 45 questions as the stimulus and the student is to choose the correct signed sentence response that matches the meaning of the picture stimulus. This task consists of signs that we refer to as rare signs. These signs were identified by native signers as not typically known outside the Deaf world. The Real Objects and Plurals task is a measure of knowledge of Verbs of Motion (VoM), Verbs of Location (VoL) and classifiers representation. It also has items that require knowledge of plural and mass noun forms and how these are represented by classifiers in sentences. The ROPL task also measures spatial referencing of objects in differing alternating and row placements.
Syntax: Simple Task (STXS)
Simple syntax test items contain a prompt video of a real-world event and ask students to select which of four simple ASL sentences best describe the video prompt. Students aged 4 - 12 years old participate in the STXS subtask. A student's score on this task represents their knowledge of verbs related to motion (VoM) and location (VoL), Plurals, Negation, and Pronominal structures.
Syntax: Difficult Task (STXD)
The STXD task consists of 18 mulitple choice questions. The Syntax Difficult (STXD) task is a measure of six different types of ASL sentence structures. Students are presented with 4 versions of the same sentence and are expected to choose the correct sentence. The Syntax Difficult Task (STXD) is designed to provide a measure of a students’ decision making (metalinguistic judgment) of their knowledge of different sentence types in ASL. It is structured to measure how well participants understand ASL conditionals, topicalization, complement, relative clause, negation, rhetorical question, wh- question, simple sentences (subject-verb-object (plain), and sentential agreement. This task was developed for students between the ages of 4 and 12 years.
Analogies Task (ANG)
The ANG task consists of 24 stimulus sentences in form of A is to B as X is to ...? The ANG task presents 6 different types of analogical reasoning in ASL: causal, antonyms, whole to part and part to whole, purpose, ASL phonology, and noun-verb derivational pairs. The ANG task is intended to measure the extent of analogical reasoning in Deaf students. This task was developed for students 8 years and older.
Comprehension (CMP) and Comprehension: Easy (CMPE)
The Comprehension and Comprehension: Easy tasks are tasks of ASL Literacy comprehension. The task is organized into stories. Each story has 5 questions. The stories may be expository, or they may be fiction. The questions are divided into inferential questions, where participants try to guess the answer based on information they already have. Or, the questions may be literal where the information needed to answer the question already exists in the story. The Comprehension task for older kids has 6 stories, and the Comprehension: Easy task has 2.
Rhode Island Test of Language Structure (Adapted), (RITLS)
The RITLS presents one English sentence as a prompt, with three pictures as possible answer options. The Deaf student is asked to select the best picture to match the sentence presented.

Testing

The ASLAI is available to schools, states, and programs throughout the country on a contract basis. Before each administration, we obtain background information of participants to include educational history, reading and math scores, family history, and biographical information. Each test administration at a school typically takes place over the course of one week, with customized reports then available within 60 days after the administration. CRT will customize services based on the number of students, programs, or number of schools/districts within a state.

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