Phonemic Awareness


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Assessing Phonemic Awareness

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Assessing Phonemic Awareness Using DIBELS measures

Phonemic Awareness skills can be assessed using standardized measures. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment system provides two measures that can be used to assess phonemic segmentation skills, Initial Sounds Fluency (ISF) and Phonemic Segmentation Fluency (PSF). To learn more about the DIBELS assessment system, click here.

DIBELS Initial Sounds Fluency

The DIBELS Initial Sounds Fluency (ISF) Measure is a standardized, individually administered measure of phonological awareness that assesses a child's ability to recognize and produce the initial sound in an orally presented word.

The examiner presents four pictures to the child, names each picture, and then asks the child to identify (i.e., point to or say) the picture that begins with the sound produced orally by the examiner.

For example, the examiner says, "This is sink, cat, gloves, and hat. Which picture begins with /s/?" and the student points to the correct picture. The child is also asked to orally produce the beginning sound for an orally presented word that matches one of the given pictures.

The examiner calculates the amount of time taken to identify/produce the correct sound and converts the score into the number of initial sounds correct in a minute.

The ISF measure takes about 3 minutes to administer and has over 20 alternate forms to monitor progress.

DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency

The DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) measure is a standardized, individually administered test of phonological awareness. The PSF measure assesses a student's ability to segment three- and four-phoneme words into their individual phonemes fluently. The PSF measure has been found to be a good predictor of later reading achievement (Kaminski & Good, 1996; see References).

The PSF task is administered by the examiner orally presenting words of three to four phonemes. The student is required to produce verbally the individual phonemes for each word.

For example, the examiner says "sat," and the student says "/s/ /a/ /t/" to receive three possible points for the word. After the student responds, the examiner presents the next word, and the number of correct phonemes produced in one minute determines the final score.

The PSF measure takes about 2 minutes to administer and has over 20 alternate forms for monitoring progress.