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for researchers

word reading test

The Word Reading Test is a test that is based on a large body of research that explains how children learn to read. It is made up of 90 single words comprising of three types of words; regular words, exception words and non-words. Regular words are words that can be read using standard phonetic rules (for example, keep); exception words are words that violate the standard letter-sound rules of English (for example, flood); and non-words are words that follow standard phonetic rules however are not real words (for example, beng). These three types of words all require different processes for reading. If a child is reading below the expected level for their age, this particular test enables us to understand which reading process is not developing as well as it should be.
This test is administered through a PowerPoint presentation. The three types of words are mixed and presented one at a time on a slide in front of the child. The child is asked to read the word and then the next slide is presented. This test takes only about 10-15 minutes to administer and yet provides a wealth of information about the child’s reading level and the processes that they use when reading. There is published Australian normative data (Coltheart & Leahy, 1996) for these words which allows a comparison of test performance with normal hearing peers.