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Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills™ (TILLS™) Examiner's Manual

Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills™ (TILLS™) Examiner's Manual

Authors: Nickola Nelson Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Elena Plante Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Nancy Helm-Estabrooks Sc.D., CCC-SLP, Gillian Hotz Ph.D., CCC-SLP

ISBN: 978-1-59857-829-4
Pages: 256
Copyright: 2016
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Essential for effective use of the Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills™ (TILLS™), this in-depth Examiner’s Manual walks professionals through administration and scoring of the assessment. With this start-to-finish manual, TILLS examiners will:

  • review the purposes, uses, background, and components of TILLS
  • get comprehensive instructions on administering all 15 TILLS subtests
  • find answers to frequently asked questions about TILLS
  • learn specific considerations for testing students with previously identified special needs
  • get the normative data tables needed to complete TILLS scoring
  • understand how to interpret scores with the help of sample profiles for different types of students

The manual also includes the detailed instructions examiners need to complete the four charts of the Examiner Record Form:

  1. Scoring Chart. Calculate subtest scores and enter corresponding standard scores and percentile ranks, four composites based on subtest standard scores, and the student’s identification core score.
  2. Identification Chart. Identify when a student’s score is consistent with a language/literacy disorder.
  3. Profile Chart. Produce a visual display of patterns of relative strengths and weaknesses based on standard scores and graph your selected confidence interval.
  4. Tracking Chart. Document changes in language and literacy skills over time.

Clear and comprehensive, this indispensable guide helps professionals administer and score TILLS accurately and use the results to inform next steps.

For every subtest, TILLS examiners get:

  • explicit, precise instructions on how to orally administer the test
  • guidelines for following start rules, basal rules, ceiling rules, and probe rules
  • detailed directions for recording and scoring student responses
  • a tip box for helping them score the subtest and resolve challenging issues
  • helpful completed examples with explanatory narratives


TEST OF INTEGRATED LANGUAGE AND LITERACY SKILLS (TILLS) is the reliable, valid assessment professionals need to test oral and written language skills in students ages 6—18 years. TILLS is a comprehensive, norm-referenced test that has been standardized for three purposes:

  1. To identify language and literacy disorders
  2. To document patterns of relative strengths and weaknesses
  3. To track changes in language and literacy skills over time

To achieve these purposes, TILLS is constructed to allow you to derive scores for identifying, tracking, and profiling a student’s strengths and weaknesses and interpreting the results to support decisions about what to do next.

Learn more about TILLS and explore the key benefits.

Test of Integrated Language & Literacy Skills™ and TILLS™ are trademarks of Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

The contents of TILLS were developed under Grant No. R324A100354 from the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

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Key Project Staff.
About the Authors
  1. Overview of the Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills (TILLS)
  2. The TILLS Model of Language and Literacy Skills
    Target Population
    Administration Time
    Overview of the Subtests
          Subtest 1: Vocabulary Awareness (VA)
          Subtest 2: Phonemic Awareness (PA)
          Subtest 3: Story Retelling (SR)
          Subtest 4: Nonword Repetition (NWRep)
          Subtest 5: Nonword Spelling (NWSpell)
          Subtest 6: Listening Comprehension (LC)
          Subtest 7: Reading Comprehension (RC)
          Subtest 8: Following Directions (FD)
          Subtest 9: Delayed Story Retelling (DSR)
          Subtest 10: Nonword Reading (NWRead)
          Subtest 11: Reading Fluency (RF)
          Subtest 12: Written Expression (WE)
          Subtest 13: Social Communication (SC)
          Subtest 14: Digit Span Forward (DSF)
          Subtest 15: Digit Span Backward (DSB)
    The TILLS Conceptual Model
    Test Materials
          Examiner’s Manual
          Technical Manual
          Quick Start Guide
          Stimulus Book
          Digital Audio Files
          Examiner Record Form
          Student Response Form
          Examiner’s Practice Workbook
          Student Language Scale (SLS)
          Items to be Supplied by the Examiner
    Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Administering the TILLS Subtests
  4. Individual TILLS Subtests
    SUBTEST 1: Vocabulary Awareness (VA)
    SUBTEST 2: Phonemic Awareness (PA)
    SUBTEST 3: Story Retelling (SR)
    SUBTEST 4: Nonword Repetition (NWRep)
    SUBTEST 5: Nonword Spelling (NWSpell)
    SUBTEST 6: Listening Comprehension (LC)
    SUBTEST 7: Reading Comprehension (RC)
    SUBTEST 8: Following Directions (FD)
    SUBTEST 9: Delayed Story Retelling (DSR)
    SUBTEST 10: Nonword Reading (NWRead)
    SUBTEST 11: Reading Fluency (RF)
    SUBTEST 12: Written Expression (WE)
    SUBTEST 13: Social Communication (SC)
    SUBTEST 14: Digit Span Forward (DSF)
    SUBTEST 15: Digit Span Backward (DSB)
    Considerations for Testing Students with Previously Identified Special Needs
          Modifying Start and Stop Rules when Testing Students with Special Needs
          Testing Students with Hearing Loss
          Signs that a Student with Special Needs May Need to Take a Break or to
          Stop Testing
          Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Scoring the TILLS and Using the Scores for Its Three Purposes
  6. Steps for Calculating Standard Scores
          Transforming TILLS Subtest Raw Scores to Standard Scores
          Percentile Ranks
          TILLS Identification Core Scores
          TILLS Sound/Word, Sentence/Discourse, Oral, and Written Composite Scores
          TILLS Total Standard Score
          Confidence Intervals
          How to Use TILLS Scores to Achieve the Test’s Three Purposes
          Purpose 1: To Identify Language and Literacy Disorders
          Purpose 2: To Document Patterns of Relative Strengths and Weaknesses
          Purpose 3: To Track Changes in Language and Literacy Skills over Time
          Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Considering TILLS Profiles in Relation to Curricular Demands and Student Needs
  8. Students with Primary Language and Literacy Disorders
          Example 1: Dawn
          Example 2: Adam
          Example 3: Calli
          Example 4: Shaquela
          Example 5: Robert
    Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
          Example 6: Molly
          Example 7: Jason
    Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
          Example 8: Randy
    Students with Intellectual Disability
          Example 9: Ruth
Appendix Normative Tables
      Subtest Standard Scores
      Subtest Percentile Ranks
      Standard Scores for the TILLS Total, Composite, and Identification Core Scores
      Percentile Ranks for the TILLS Total, Composite, and Identification Core Scores
      True Change Interval
TILLS Errata
Please read about two corrections in your Examiner's Manual and download a replacement page for page 161.