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New resource to monitor children's reading progress

16 May 2022

Stock photo of classroom with male teacher sat at a desk reading with two pupils, one girl and one boy

Today (16 May), the Central South Consortium has published a new reading test – developed by academics at Cardiff University - for children aged 1 to 11 in Welsh-medium schools.

The School of Welsh led the interdisciplinary project, under the direction of Dr Jonathan Morris and Dr Dylan Foster Evans. It also benefited from the expertise of Dr Rosanna Stenner from the School of Psychology and Dr Geraint Palmer from the School of Mathematics.

The aim of the project was to create a convenient and useful reading test to monitor the accuracy of children's reading in Welsh-medium schools. The resource is available open access and for free via the Consortium’s website, for use by teachers, practitioners and schools across Wales.

The test includes two forms which contain 17 sentences each. Practitioners can use the forms on separate occasions to assess an individual's progress by comparing their scores with standardised scores. The standardised scores are based on scores from 760 children in Welsh-medium schools across South East Wales.

“It’s been a privilege to work on a project that will help practitioners monitor children’s progress as well as being a diagnostic tool for them. We’re grateful to the Consortium and all the schools who took part in the process for standardising the test.”

Dr Jonathan Morris Director of Research

Dr Rosanna Stenner added: “Despite the emphasis on monitoring children’s reading development, few standardised resources are available to Welsh-medium schools. Not only will this new resource help staff in schools identify children who are experiencing reading difficulties, it will also provide an opportunity to monitor progress after intervention. We’re confident that the resource will be a valuable addition to the literacy support package available to schools.”

Following publication of the resource, the team of researchers are eager to understand how it’s being used and its effectiveness before expanding the test for the future by collecting further data.

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The School is committed to the development of language, society and identity in contemporary Wales through teaching and research of the highest standard.