This resource can be used informal assessment or screening tool, specifically to look at word retrieval and language formulation skills. It can be used as a supplement to more formal language assessment measures, such as being administered in addition to tests of expressive/receptive vocabulary or following a formal language test that does not include word retrieval tasks. It includes informal assessment data collection pages with plenty of room for taking notes as well as suggestions for cues to try if the student has difficulty. It also includes a 36-page task card booklet with real photos to accompany most of the tasks listed below.


The first half of this resource contains general word retrieval tasks:

  • Naming pictured nouns
  • Naming pictured verbs
  • Naming from a verbal description
  • Naming the category (given items)-- basic
  • Naming the category (given items)-- complex/conversational
  • Naming category items-- basic
  • Naming category items-- complex/conversational
  • Cloze task-- level one (ex: "Peanut butter and ____")
  • Cloze task-- level two (ex: "She put the hat on her ____")
  • Naming synonyms
  • Naming antonyms


The second half of this resource contains a variety of language formulation tasks. Analyzing the student’s responses during these lengthier expressive language tasks can also help to identify word retrieval difficulties:

  • Describing a word
  • Comparing/contrasting
  • Explaining word relationships
  • Describing a picture
  • Formulating a sentence about a picture
  • Telling steps in a procedure-- with visuals
  • Telling steps in a procedure-- without visuals
  • Retelling a story
  • Generating a narrative about a picture

Word Retrieval & Language Formulation: Informal Assessment Tool