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The development of reading tests for use in a regularly spelled language

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2001

K. J. ALCOCK
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
K. NOKES
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
F. NGOWI
Affiliation:
MAKWAMI Project, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
C. MUSABI
Affiliation:
MAKWAMI Project, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
A. MBISE
Affiliation:
University of Dar-es-Salaam
R. MANDALI
Affiliation:
MAKWAMI Project, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
D. BUNDY
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
A. BADDELEY
Affiliation:
University of Bristol

Abstract

Data are presented on the development of tests of reading skill for primary school pupils in rural Tanzania. Instruction in these schools is in Kiswahili, a regularly spelled language. Using a translation of a standard reading test, children can read aloud all words once they have learned the sound– letter correspondences, regardless of comprehension. In addition, children can pass traditional comprehension tasks by decoding only some of the words. Three graded tests were developed to test children who had only some letter knowledge, could read single words, or were proficient readers. The tests required children both to decode and to understand the reading material in order to achieve high scores. The tests correlated well with scores on other educational achievement tests and showed age and school grade differences. It is suggested that these tests are useful measures of reading development in a regularly spelled language. Their adaptation to English and validation against standardized instruments are planned.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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