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Assessment of preliteracy skills

Marjeta Švigelj (2011) Assessment of preliteracy skills. Diploma thesis.

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    The present thesis touches upon the problem of how to identify children at risk of developing reading disorders as early as possible, even before learning to read. Early detection of deficits in the area is of great importance, since it enables us to take one step closer in dealing successfully with problems concerning reading by preventive trainings and development of preliteracy skills. Appropriate training cannot be evolved without proper estimates of deficits in preliteracy skills. The thesis therefore attempts to offer an answer to the question of how and with what tools and tests such estimates can be obtained. At the beginning of the thesis, reading is presented as being one of the most important school skills. In the following pages, more is written about its development and the processes at work during reading. Next, the development of skills needed to begin to learn reading (preliteracy skills) and the factors affecting the efficiency of reading, are described. Apart from that, types of reading disorders are explained along with suggested exercises to develop the preliteracy skills for the problematic areas (visual differentiation, phonological awareness, short-term memory and the ability for rapid automated denomination). In continuation of the thesis, tests designed to wholly or partly assess children's preliteracy skills are studied. The discovered disadvantage of all of them is that they are merely a part of other diagnostic tests and do not form a unique battery intended for early detection of children at risk. If a comprehensive study of all the areas which affect reading skills would be performed in order to be able to anticipate potential problems in reading, the investigators would first need to select and combine fragments of several different tests, which would, apart from consuming a lot of time, result in non comparable data, since each professional would prepare a different test. The aim of the thesis was to prevent just that by designing a battery of tests suitable for the purpose. The battery was produced by creating new exercises or manipulating appropriate existing ones directed to children aged from 5 to 7. The creation was based on theoretical knowledge and ran along the lines of well-established Slovenian as well as foreign language tests and tools for early intervention. Finally, the battery was tested on a sample of 10 children, the majority of which is to enter elementary school next year. The pilot study has shown both advantages and disadvantages to the battery. On their basis, improvements and suggestions for further work are proposed.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: reading, preliteracy skills, factors of reading performance, reading disorder, early detection, assessment of preliteracy skills
    Number of Pages: 168
    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=8976713)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 443
    Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2011 19:22
    Last Modified: 23 Oct 2011 19:22
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/443

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