Leading independent test publisher, GL Assessment, has today published an assessment that explores phonological awareness in children aged 5 to 11 years. Phonological awareness - the understanding of the smallest units of sound in a word - is a critical first step towards learning how to read, as children use this knowledge to decode new words that they see or hear. The PhAB2 Primary assessment identifies specific difficulties a child is experiencing so that they can receive targeted support.
PhAB2 Primary is a new edition of the well-established Phonological Assessment Battery. It contains ten diagnostic, standardised sub-tests that cover areas such as segmentation, blending and phonological working memory. Authored by Dr Simon Gibbs (University of Newcastle) and Dr Sue Bodman (Institute of Education), the new assessment reflects the latest research in phonology and phonics; areas that are recognised as key to reading progress across all UK curricula.
Andrew Thraves, Director of Education at GL Assessment, said: “An impressive amount of evidence, gathered over the past 30 years, shows that the best predictors of early reading progress are children's phonological skills. Phonics provide the building blocks for learning to read and without a sound phonological awareness, a child will struggle to read.
“Children should master basic reading skills at the age of six. If they haven’t, schools need to do something about it. PhAB2 Primary will identify the areas where pupils need help and it will be an important tool for schools to use when working with children who are struggling to learn to read.”
Beverley Williams, Head of Professional Training and Specialist Assessor at the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, has used PhAB for many years. “The original edition of the assessment has been regularly used by HADC specialists as a reliable source of information and the new PhAB2 Primary is even better. The new, updated subtests allow for an even wider range of information to be gathered about a child’s phonological processing skills and abilities, and the activities are fun and manageable. It will form an important part of a specialist assessment.”
The test takes 20 minutes to administer and it can be used by SENCOs, specialist literacy teachers and educational psychologists.