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ERIC Number: EJ1051588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2194
Assessing Decoding Ability: The Role of Speed and Accuracy and a New Composite Indicator to Measure Decoding Skill in Elementary Grades
Morlini, Isabella; Stella, Giacomo; Scorza, Maristella
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v48 n2 p176-195 Mar-Apr 2015
Tools for assessing decoding skill in students attending elementary grades are of fundamental importance for guaranteeing an early identification of reading disabled students and reducing both the primary negative effects (on learning) and the secondary negative effects (on the development of the personality) of this disability. This article presents results obtained by administering existing standardized tests of reading and a new screening procedure to about 1,500 students in the elementary grades in Italy. It is found that variables measuring speed and accuracy in all administered reading tests are not Gaussian, and therefore the threshold values used for classifying a student as a normal decoder or as an impaired decoder must be estimated on the basis of the empirical distribution of these variables rather than by using the percentiles of the normal distribution. It is also found that the decoding speed and the decoding accuracy can be measured in either a 1-minute procedure or in much longer standardized tests. The screening procedure and the tests administered are found to be equivalent insofar as they carry the same information. Finally, it is found that speed and accuracy act as complementary effects in the measurement of decoding ability. On the basis of this last finding, the study introduces a new composite indicator aimed at determining the student's performance, which combines speed and accuracy in the measurement of decoding ability.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A