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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pseudo-Words vs. Real Words: Predicting Reading Outcomes for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

  • Author(s): Sisco-Taylor, Dennis
  • Advisor(s): Vanderwood, Michael L
  • et al.

This study investigated the utility of two early literacy screening measures, Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF) and Word Identification Fluency (WIF), with a sample of culturally and linguistically diverse students. Included within the overall sample of 196 first grade students were 106 Spanish-speaking ELLs at varying levels of English proficiency. Screening measures were administered in the winter of first grade, and used to predict oral reading fluency (ORF) at the end of the school year. Results indicated that WIF accounted for substantial variance in ORF above and beyond that accounted for by NWF. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses revealed that WIF was superior to NWF in terms of classification accuracy. Differences in predicting ORF for ELLs at low, moderate, and high levels of English proficiency were observed on the NWF measure. Study outcomes provide support for WIF as an early literacy screener within early prevention and intervention frameworks.

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