Reading assessment: Overview
Reading assessments help teachers determine the reading abilities of students in their classrooms. Administrators depend on assessment tools for making decisions about literacy education from the school level to the regional level. Recent state and federal initiatives requiring early reading instruction and intervention are further driving the need for comprehensive and accurate information about reading assessment tools – especially those tools that are appropriate to administer to young children before the second grade. Over the past several decades, significant advances in cognitive psychology, education, linguistics, and sociology have made it possible to expand how reading is viewed. These advances indicate that reading is a dynamic process in which the reader actively participates. As a result, difficulty is no longer viewed as a property of a particular reading skill or task, but rather as an interaction among the reader, text, and context of the reading situation.
Reading assessment: Evaluation
Reading assessments are used for the purposes of understanding how a child gains literacy, gets information and performs a task. That, in turn, provides a measure of reading fluency, or oral reading proficiency. Reading is the process of constructing meaning through the dynamic interaction among the reader’s existing knowledge, the information suggested by the written language, and the context of the reading situation. Interactive models of reading that combine the top-down (whole language) and bottom-up (skills) models lead to better comprehension. A good reader is one who can apply various reading skills independently and flexibly in a variety of reading situations – not necessarily one who simply demonstrates mastery of those skills.
Reading assessment: Lasting solutions
Reading assessments should address a variety of factors. They include: theoretical focus, the influence of the reader’s prior knowledge on reading comprehension, how the reader structures that knowledge, which strategies the reader uses to construct meaning, which skills the reader needs to perform a particular reading task, the type of methods and materials being used, and the setting in which reading occurs. Reading research and theory have only recently enabled educators to integrate these issues into instructional and assessment practices. A goal is to develop strategic motivated readers who have knowledge of the reading process, comprehending text and are motivated to read. At LearningRx, we help children better their skills so that reading becomes more enjoyable. Visit is at www.learningrx.com.