ERIC Number: ED423292
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb-7
Reference Count: N/A
The Test of Phonological Awareness. Critique.
The Test of Phonological Awareness (TOPA) was developed to help identify children who are delayed in their development of phonological awareness. Research supports the theory that children with poor phonological awareness are at risk of later reading difficulties. Children who score in the bottom quartile of the TOPA are considered to be at risk for reading difficulties. There are two versions of the TOPA, one for kindergarten and one for early elementary school. Both are made up of two 10-question subtests with pictures used to represent words. The quality of the items appears to be adequate for screening for awareness of phonemes, and the test appears easy to administer. The TOPA yields raw scores, percentiles, and standard scores. Scores are sensitive to the time of the school year the test is administered for the kindergarten version. The normative sample was carefully selected. Norms for the kindergarten TOPA were made up from responses of 875 children from 10 states, while those for the early elementary version are from 3,654 children from 38 states. Coefficient alpha, based on 100 children at each age level, was 0.90 for kindergarten and 0.88 for early elementary, results that support the internal consistency of the TOPA. Overall, the TOPA has many strengths, including a large and representative normative sample. This does not mean that all school districts will relate to the instrument's norms. One suggestion for improvement would be to prepare local norms. Another issue of concern is the clarity of pronunciation and dialect of the administrator. The TOPA-Early Elementary correlated well with subtests from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test. Correlations with other measures designed to measure phonological awareness were moderate for the kindergarten version and moderate to high for the early elementary version. It is concluded that the TOPA has potential for identifying children at risk for reading difficulties, and due to the ease of administration and the short time required, it can be used as a screening device. (Contains three references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Phonological Awareness
Note: Paper presented at the Education Research Exchange (College Station, TX, February 7, 1998).