On­line test to check sound read­ing habits

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS -

PAR­ENTS and teach­ers will get free ac­cess to a test to see if their Year 1 stu­dents are learn­ing to read by sound­ing out words.

The on­line tool aims to boost lit­er­acy rates in Aus­tralia by check­ing whether stu­dents use phon­ics skills to break down words by sound­ing out let­ters or groups of let­ters.

The test will be based on a sim­i­lar as­sess­ment used in the United King­dom, where chil­dren are shown a list of 40 words — 20 real words and 20 fake words — all of which can be read us­ing the phonic de­cod­ing method.

It is hoped the new tool will help par­ents and teach­ers to bet­ter un­der­stand whether stu­dents are guess­ing the mean­ing of un­fa­mil­iar words from their con­text, or sound­ing them out.

The free test was an elec­tion prom­ise by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, which has lob­bied state and ter­ri­to­ries to adopt the screen­ing tool in schools. In 2018, South Aus­tralia be­came the first state to roll out com­pul­sory phon­ics tests for Year 1 stu­dents.

Pic­ture: KERYN STEVENS

East Ade­laide Pri­mary School Year 1 stu­dents with teacher Pip Souter.

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