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Observation and assessment of children's pre-literacy skills

Tjaša Kanalec (2016) Observation and assessment of children's pre-literacy skills. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    With this research we wanted to highlight the importance of early detection and treatment of children, who already in the preschool period show deviations or delays in individual areas of development associated with pre-literacy skills, but they are not necessarily classified as children with special needs. We note that kindergarten teachers on the basis of their expertise can identify deviations or delays in certain areas of development in pre-school children. Some children, who are not directed in the pre-school program with adjusted implementation and additional professional assistance, would namely require some form of care, assistance, and support or incentive that would assist them in developing pre-literacy skills before entering school. The study included 200 preschool children in the area of Goriška, aged four to seven years. We described pre-literacy skills with the use of the questionnaire to create a profile of a child before entering school (Ozbič, Kogovšek, Zver in Ferluga, 2011, v Ozbič, Kogovšek, Zver, Novšak Brce in Vališer, 2012), covering the areas of attention, concentration, motor skills, communication, speech-language expression and comprehension, verbal memory, graphic-visual sensory area, perception and labelling of colours, time and spatial orientation, metaliterature skills, pre-literacy skills, graphemic awareness, pre-math skills and metacognition. The data showed high reliability of the questionnaire (Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.991). We stated that the questionnaire is objective and valid (the criterion validity, factor analysis). We determined the percentile values and the results obtained compared with previous surveys. Through the t-test we found statistically significant difference in the scoring with the questionnaire between the two groups of children: those who deviate (EG1 and EG2), and those that do not vary according to the teachers (CG). We calculated the analysis of variance (ANOVA) among the three groups of children (EG1, EG2 and CG). Due to the inhomogeneity of variances was used Welch alternative experiment, we carried out a test post hoc Games-Howell and took into account the risk of less than 0.05. The results showed statistically significant differences between separate groups of children in the scoring with the questionnaire. Differences between the three groups EG1, EG2 and CG were calculated using the discriminant analysis. The relative contribution of each variable to produce discriminant function was assessed by calculating the coefficients of discrimination and correlation coefficients of each variable with discriminant functions. We stated that differences between the groups were statistically significant, and that in our case the most important composite variables were speech-language expression and comprehension, attention and concentration as well as communication and socio-pragmatism. The differences between the groups were determined by using centroids, which differed and as such showed a good distinction between the groups. Based on the designed predicting model of overt variables we determined belonging to a sample for children from the three groups. We stated that by using the selected system of variables 95% of children were correctly classified: namely 100% of children who had been classified (EG2), 92% of children who estimated by kindergarten teachers differ in development, but are not classified (EG1), and 96% of children, of which the kindergarten teachers consider that they do not deviate or have delays in development (CG). The results showed that there are differences in the profile of skills between the groups of children who are classified (EG2), children for whom kindergarten teachers noticed deviations or delays in certain areas of development, but they are not classified (EG1), and a group of children with no special features in development (CG).In this way we described pre-literacy skills of 200 children in the area of Goriška, analysed the reliability, validity, objectivity and sensitivity of the questionnaire and compared the results with the existing studies that had used a test questionnaire.The resulting data can be the basis for a model suggestion for the screening detection of children who exhibit less developed pre-literacy skills and the potential risk for the later development of learning disabilities. Early detection of children who are potentially at high-risk would contribute to a more efficient organization of early treatment of children in the area of pre-literacy skills and increase the successfulness of provided assistance. This would have a positive impact on the development of early special-pedagogical and rehabilitation treatment of children in terms of pre-literacy skills.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: preschool period, developmental delay, early identification, prevention, pre-literacy skills, assessment, profile
    Number of Pages: 175
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Martina OzbičMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11040073)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3500
    Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 13:21
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2016 13:21
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3500

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