Reading & Spelling tests for private tutor to use

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Reading & Spelling tests for private tutor to use

Post by Kiki » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:30 pm

Hi all,

I've been a private reading tutor for some years now and up to now have used various diagnostic tests and Schonell and Burt. I would however like to document my students more thoroughly and produce case studies and with Schonell and Burt being VERY old (and showing it) I consider I need reading and spelling tests that are better suited to the task and that are well respected and accepted. They also need to be affordable and easily available.

My students are mostly primary and lower secondary children but I do get the occasional teenager and one adult so far.

Someone recommended an NfER reading test but I don't think it is available any longer. Can anyone recommend any reading and spelling tests that might suit this scenario? Some of the tests I have been looking (online) at are from Hodder Education:

* Salford Sentence Reading Test (Revised) (but it's only for ages 5 - 10)
* Edinburgh Reading Test (4th edition)(4 tests in all covering age 7 to 16+)
* Diagnostic Reading Analysis - for ages 7 to 16
* Hodder Oral Reading Tests (Single-word reading, sentence reading and reading speed assessment, for ages 5 to 16+)

and for spelling tests the Parallel Spelling Tests and Graded Word Spelling Test?

Thanks for any advice!

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Re: Reading & Spelling tests for private tutor to use

Post by geraldinecarter » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:12 am

Kiki - I'm sure that you'll get some advice on testing soon. I'm not at all up-to-date but believe that the Salford Test is still used. It takes up very little time but it does have Whole Language elements. I'm not sure that there is any up-to-date tests in general use - but I could be wrong.

Meanwhile, Don Potter produced the following on the Yahoo BRI forum today:
Professor Charles Walcutt once quipped that he could teach a student to read with his Through the Phonics Barrier in less time that it took to give some of the reading assessments in his day. I think that is still true.

yvonne meyer
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Re: Reading & Spelling tests for private tutor to use

Post by yvonne meyer » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:07 pm

The (Australian) Developmental Disorders of Language and Literacy website has a fairly comprehensive list of tests with accompanying critiques. Examples:

Burt Word Reading Test has a long history and is a measure of single word recognition. The version we employ is based on a standardisation carried out in the early 1980s in New Zealand by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. While doubts may be expressed over the utility of reading single words in isolation, it remains a robust test especially when used as part of a battery of reading tests. Our experience with this test suggests that it now frequently overestimates reading age. This needs to be remembered when interpreting the results obtained with this test but it still provides a good reliable measure of relative reading gain over time. Note that the maximum reading age possible on the Burt is about 13 years.

Clay's Concepts about Print test. For young children, assessing awareness of book technology, print conventions etc. Biggish home environment effects, little heritability

You may also want to have a look at the DIBELS which can be downloaded for free.

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

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Re: Reading & Spelling tests for private tutor to use

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:53 pm

Kiki, at secondary school we have used some of the NFER- NELSON Group Reading tests ( GRT 11 ) forms A- D . These tests are untimed and sometimes they paint a false picture especially when used with some pupils who may be on the dyslexic continuum. Recently a year 10 pupil scored a year above his chronological age for reading accuracy on test C. I asked him to read to me from an age appropriate text and he only managed to read at a rate of 85 words per minute. At this rate it is extremely difficult for a student to comprehend what he is reading, without at least a second reading. Like many dyslexic students his reading accuracy was fine, without time constraints, but his level of fluency was poor. If we had taken his reading test score at face value it could have proved very deceptive.

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