Achievement on a Test of Specific Coding Skills Contrasted with Achievement on Global Tests of Reading Skills

Gallistel, Elizabeth
January 1973
Journal of Learning Disabilities;Jan1973, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
A test was constructed to measure coding ability - skill in recognizing classes of words grouped by their phonic structure and the grapheme-phoneme combinations they contained. When the test was administered to low and middle group readers and to children in a learning disability program, marked differences in mastery of these skills appeared among children who had similar word recognition scores on standardized tests. The ability to read any or most words incorporating particular grapheme-phoneme combinations within a particular phonic structure requires mastery of the coding process and represents a more complex skill than the ability to recognize by sight a few words incorporating these same phonic elements. The experimental test 1) identified children with possible coding process disabilities common among the learning disability population, 2) indicated which particular classes of phonemes a child had not yet learned to use in recognizing words, and 3) proved more useful than standardized global tests in evaluating progress of children in a special learning disability program where instruction was based on a systematic synthetic-phonic progression of skills. It also showed promise as a research and curriculum evaluation tool for studying the development of the coding process and the acquisition of generative phonic skills.


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