Phonological Awareness Assessment

On entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage (nursery or kindergarten), it is important that all children have their phonological awareness skills assessed. The majority are likely to be progressing well but the ones who are not will need help.

Evidence tells us that children who start well will continue well. However, if a child needs support to develop phonological awareness skills, they will need support until they have them well established (Anthony & Francis, 2005; Anthony & Lonigan, 2004).

Some standardised assessments of phonological awareness use complex language, concepts and vocabulary, have a heavy memory load or do not assess syllable level skills. The majority are standardised on one language or cultural group, so may not be appropriate for the children you are assessing. Criterion referenced assessment may be more suitable for many children. Dynamic assessment of phonological awareness will give you a better indication of a child’s skills and be a good indicator of where to start intervention.