1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Alternative reading assessments for children with very low reading ages/reading difficulties

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by MissBee741, May 20, 2019.

  1. MissBee741

    MissBee741 New commenter

    Good evening,

    I am the English Subject Lead at a small independent special needs school. We currently use the New Group Reading Test from GL assessment as our main summative assessment for reading (in addition to continuous formative assessment throughout the term).

    It has been raised that some children struggle to read the instructions for the test and thus continually score within a low range, which makes it look as if they have not made progress in reading. However, these children have made progress but it is often incremental and thus not picked up in the test. In addition to this, some children struggle with their phonological awareness which impacts on their ability to read, but if the questions and texts were read to them their comprehension would actually be quite good.

    Can anyone recommend any alternative assessments that would capture progress for SEND students such as this?

    Thank you
  2. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    It may be too low for your pupils but in a special school for children with severe learning difficulties I used the Bill Gilham “Early Literary Test”
  3. MissBee741

    MissBee741 New commenter

    Hi! I’ll check it out - thank you!
  4. Gavster77

    Gavster77 New commenter

    The Suffolk test for reading - gauges at various levels is excellent.

    Also see the online IDL program which encourages independent progression.
  5. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    The Neale Analysis of Reading Ability (NARA) is a one-to-one reading test that gives three measures - decoding, comprehension and speed. Although it starts at a basic largely decodable level, it may nevertheless progress in too big steps for your purposes. If I recall correctly there are two parallel forms at each level.
    It doesn't help with your listening comprehension question I'm afraid.
    never_expect_anything likes this.
  6. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    I'm from a very similar background, and if you're a small school, a one-to-one assessment would be the best way forward with low student numbers. We use NGRT for all students, but those who cannot access it (due to attitude, more often, than ability) we use York Reading Assessment, another one-to-one, similar to NARA, and it comes in Primary and Secondary levels.
    As @Lucy2711 says, what you describe is listening comprehension, which no 'reading' assessments will evidence.
  7. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    PS - both NARA and York require students to read passages independently (aloud, if appropriate), but because they are one-to-one, all instructions and comprehension questions are given orally.
  8. winny

    winny New commenter

    NARA was the best I could find for reading and comprehension but I believe the lowest reading age was from 6 years. Any not reaching that were just scored as below 6 but their comprehension could be higher because they are asked the questions.
  9. craig_keane2002

    craig_keane2002 New commenter

Share This Page