Single word reading

Students are presented with a picture of an object on the screen and hear the word spoken by the computer. Students select the correct word from five words at the bottom of the screen. The student starts by attempting some ‘probe’ items to determine the level at which they should start the subtest. Their progress through the subtest depends on their performance and the subtest is discontinued when the student fails a certain number of items within a level.

Single word reading is the only subtest in LASS 8–11 for which scores are not distributed in a normal curve. In fact, there is a significant negative skew, indicating that most students will achieve a maximum or near-maximum performance (in statistical terms this is sometimes referred to as a ‘ceiling effect’). The Single word reading subtest does not have sufficient sensitivity to discriminate amongst students within the average range, and so its use should be confined to students who are significantly behind in reading development, either to determine their attainment level or evaluate progress.


Figure 18. Single word reading subtest