Assessing reading ability

Helen Irlen again:

“Reading difficulties have basically been defined by standardized reading tests. Those instruments look for very specific types of problems, primarily in comprehension, encoding and decoding skills, and sight vocabulary. But reading encompasses many more skills than those. Which skills? Critical thinking, analytical reading skills, and reasoning abilities, among others, are crucial to reading. [-p.73]
Standardized tests, at best, are able to diagnose accurately only a percentage of those with learning or reading problems. It is well recognized in the education system that only a portion of those students who actually need help are identified by those tests and thus receive help. Some students, for example, can read with accuracy long enough to be somewhat successful on standardized reading tests, but they cannot sustain their reading for the time it takes to do well in school or on the job.
Another area that is not properly considered is the complex concept of comprehension. The types of comprehension difficulties experienced by people with SSS are different from those assessed by reading tests. They are more subtle in nature and can even be covered up for short periods of time. There are people with SSS who are highly successful on reading tests and whose results suggest they have good comprehension. But, in fact, it takes them a lot of rereading for that good comprehension.” (pp.72-73)

The educational system does not quantify or even look at the energy and effort involved in learning. But without that, it’s not getting the full picture.” (p.73)

Ref: Helen Irlen (2005) Reading By Colors: Overcoming dyslexia and other reading difficulties through the Irlen method. Penguin: New York


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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