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ERIC Number: EJ994042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
How Many Letters Should Preschoolers in Public Programs Know? The Diagnostic Efficiency of Various Preschool Letter-Naming Benchmarks for Predicting First-Grade Literacy Achievement
Piasta, Shayne B.; Petscher, Yaacov; Justice, Laura M.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v104 n4 p945-958 Nov 2012
Review of current federal and state standards indicates little consensus or empirical justification regarding appropriate goals, often referred to as benchmarks, for preschool letter-name learning. The present study investigated the diagnostic efficiency of various letter-naming benchmarks using a longitudinal database of 371 children who attended publicly funded preschools. Children's uppercase and lowercase letter-naming abilities were assessed at the end of preschool, and their literacy achievement on 3 standardized measures was assessed at the end of 1st grade. Diagnostic indices (sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive power) were generated to examine the extent to which attainment of various preschool letter-naming benchmarks was associated with later risk for literacy difficulties. Results indicated generally high negative predictive power for benchmarks requiring children to know 10 or more letter names by the end of preschool. Balancing across all diagnostic indices, optimal benchmarks of 18 uppercase and 15 lowercase letter names were identified. These findings are discussed in terms of educational implications, limitations, and future directions. (Contains 10 tables and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305G050005
IES Cited: ED565632; ED554441