Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, Second Edition (CASL®-2)

Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, Second Edition (CASL®-2)


Elizabeth Carrow-Woolfolk, PhD


Measures the oral language processing skills of comprehension and expression across four categories: Lexical/Semantic, Syntactic, Supralinguistic, and Pragmatic

Age Range:

3 to 21 years



Completion Time:

5 to 10 minutes for each test and 45 minutes for the General Language Ability Index (known as the Core Composite in the original CASL)


14 stand-alone individually administered performance tests requiring no reading or writing


Based on a stratified sample of 2,394 individuals that is representative of the U.S. population in terms of geographic region, gender, race, and SES/parent education


14 individual test scores and six index scores: General Language Ability Index (overall skill), Receptive Language Index, Expressive Language Index, Lexical/Semantic Index, Syntactic Index, and Supralinguistic Index

Publication Date:


What’s new in the CASL-2

  • All new normative data and more extensive clinical groups
  • 14 individual tests (the original CASL’s Paragraph Comprehension test was removed)
  • Expanded age range for most of the 14 tests to include younger children
  • Updated item content to address current technology (no more payphone!)
  • Full-color easels featuring new artwork that is more engaging for young children
  • Alternative scoring guidelines for African-American dialect
  • Updated record form design that makes scoring easier and includes an Item Analysis Worksheet for each test, to help develop intervention plans and write IEP goals
  • Easy to remember start and stop rules that are consistent across all tests


The Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language, Second Edition offers the flexibility of 14 stand-alone tests in one comprehensive yet specific battery. Preserving the strengths of the original and highly regarded test, the second edition introduces new and enhanced features to increase validity, functionality, and ease of use. Free online scoring is available.

The CASL-2 shares the same underlying theory as the new Oral Passage Understanding Scale (OPUS) and the popular Oral and Written Language Scales, Second Edition (OWLS-II). Since all three tests are based on the author’s Integrative Language Theory, they provide a cohesive evaluation across a broad range of language areas. While the OWLS-II provides an evaluation of oral and written language, the CASL-2 offers a more in-depth picture of 14 spoken language skills. The new OPUS measures listening comprehension and tells you how well a person can apply many of these skills.

Applications and Uses

The CASL-2 can be used by speech–language pathologists and other professionals in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, private practices, and intervention programs. When you need to evaluate response to intervention (RTI), you can use the CASL-2 to track improvement over time. It can help you answer a variety of referral questions, including eligibility for speech services, placement in special education, determining if a language delay or disorder is present, or measuring language abilities in English language learners. The CASL-2 provides important information for everyone involved in treatment, so you can help children and young adults reach their potential at school, at home, at work, and in the community.

What It Measures

For children and young adults ages 3 to 21, the CASL-2 measures spoken language across four structural categories:

  • Lexical/Semantic: Knowledge and use of words and word combinations
  • Syntactic: Knowledge and use of grammar
  • Supralinguistic: Knowledge and use of language in which meaning is not directly available from the surface lexical and syntactic information
  • Pragmatic Language: Knowledge of language that is appropriate across different situational contexts and ability to modify language according to the social situation

Within these categories, 14 stand-alone tests give you the flexibility to measure only the specific area or areas that you are interested in. You can interpret each test separately and/or combine test scores to get a wider picture of oral language skills. The CASL-2 tests feature extended age ranges so you can start assessing and intervening earlier, as well as track progress in the same child over many years using the test. Many of the tests now include younger ages, and all of them extend to age 21.

Test items are designed to focus on the main area of interest (for example, synonyms, antonyms, idioms, and so on) to reduce or eliminate the need for memory where possible. This is achieved by using pictures and repeating words at the beginning and end of an item. Please see the table of subtests for a description of each. The CASL-2 Pragmatic Language Test is particularly useful for measuring social communication skills in people with autism spectrum disorder or social (pragmatic) communication disorder, since it measures the ability to understand and apply societal rules and expectations. It is the only performance test that measures pragmatic language abilities in children under age 6.

Standard scores are available for the following:

  • Each of the 14 tests (specific skill scores)
  • Lexical/Semantic Index, Syntactic Index, Supralinguistic Index (categorical index scores)
  • Receptive Language Index and Expressive Language Index (language processing index scores)
  • General Language Ability Index (GLAI) (overall skill index score)

You can quickly isolate the specific skill, category, or processing ability that you want to assess. And if you need a single score to help determine a student’s eligibility for speech services or placement in special education, the GLAI can be determined by administering just 4 to 5 tests, depending on the child’s age. On the back of the record forms there is a chart that clearly shows which tests are required to obtain the different index scores based on the examinee’s age. Specific skill scores are available as descriptive ranges, confidence intervals, percentile ranks, test-age equivalents, and grade equivalents, enhancing their detail and functionality. Index scores are available as descriptive ranges, confidence intervals, and percentile ranks. Alternative scoring guidelines offer criteria for scoring results with individuals who speak with African-American dialect. This allows you to accurately measure spoken language skills and not worry about how dialectical differences may impact test results.

How It Works

Using one of three self-standing test easels, you read items aloud and the examinee responds by speaking or pointing. All of the easels now feature full-color illustrations that make administration more engaging, especially for young children, and updated items to address current technology. In addition, the easels include instructions, examples, pictures, items, prompts, sample correct and incorrect answers, scoring criteria to streamline the administration process, and tabs so you can easily flip to the test you want.

There are two CASL-2 record forms, the Comprehensive Form and the Preschool Form, both described in the table (below). Using the appropriate form, you record the examinee’s responses by hand. Across the 14 tests, suggested Start Items allow you to skip the items that are not applicable to the individual’s age. Consistent basal and ceiling rules (four correct items in a row and four incorrect items in a row, respectively) save you time by making it easy to remember when you can stop an administration.

Both CASL-2 record forms now include a fold-out panel making it easier to transfer raw scores to the Score Summary page, where you can easily convert them to standard scores. In addition, both forms include an Item Analysis Worksheet for each test, providing qualitative information that is helpful for writing IEP goals and intervention plans. It tells you exactly what the examinee’s strengths and areas for improvement are, giving you a level of detail that extends beyond a standard score.

FREE online scoring is available for kit purchasers who can create an account. Use the FREE online scoring module at When you log into your account for the first time, you will automatically have access to the scoring. Enter the student’s responses online for instant scoring at no cost. This saves you time and gives you access to automatic reporting features, including a Score Report with Item Analysis and a Progress Report.

Component Contents
Comprehensive Form All 14 tests; covers all ages (3 to 21 years old)
Preschool Form The 10 tests that can be used with children ages 3 to 6 years old
Easel 1 Lexical/Semantic tests
Easel 2 Syntactic tests
Easel 3 Supralinguistic tests and Pragmatic Language test
Manual Everything you need to know to use the CASL-2; now includes the norms tables in a single, comprehensive book

Technical Information

Standardization for the CASL-2 is based on a sample of 2,394 individuals ages 3 to 21 years old. The sample is stratified to match recent U.S. Census data for gender, ethnicity, region, and parents’ education level, so you can confidently use the CASL-2 with a wide range of individuals. The CASL-2 and OPUS are co-normed, supporting the validity of both tests and making them wonderful companion tests. A clinical validation sample of 271 individuals demonstrates that the CASL-2 can differentiate between typically developing individuals and those with the following diagnoses:

  • Expressive and/or receptive language disorder
  • Hearing impairment
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Social (pragmatic) communication disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Learning disability
  • Developmental delay

The CASL-2 has strong internal consistency and test-retest and interrater reliability, demonstrating the stability and reliability of results over time and across raters. Comparative studies with the CASL, OPUS, OWL-II, and CELF-5 show that correlations are strong but different enough to support that the CASL-2 measures unique aspects of spoken language.

As part of Pearson’s commitment to provide you with the best possible service, we are making several updates to our internal systems and processes. These changes will come into effect in early November 2022.Learn More
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