DIBELS is a literacy assessment program that helps identify and offer assistance to lagging students. The key tests in the DIBELS program are the LNF, ISF, PSF, and NWF tests. Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) is a one minute test that asks the student to name uppercase and lowercase letters written on paper and arranged in random order. The test is intended for children from the fall of kindergarten to the fall of first grade. Students with a low risk of having difficulties in mastering primary literacy correctly name more than 40% of the letters (Hoover & Tunmer, 2020). In turn, Initial Sound Fluency (ISF) is a test that assesses a student’s ability to recognize and reproduce the initial sound in a spoken word. The test is intended for children from the last preschool age to the middle of kindergarten. The student is visually offered four pictures, the name of which is pronounced by the examiner. Then the examiner pronounces the sound with which the name of a picture begins, and the child must identify this picture. The result depends on the time spent to determine and reproduce the correct sound.
Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) is a test that measures a student’s phonological awareness. It is designed for children from winter in kindergarten to spring in first grade. The examiner orally presents words from three to four phonemes. During this task, the child needs to divide three- and four-phoneme words into separate phonemes and pronounce them verbally. In turn, Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF) is a test that focuses on the ability to mix letters into words. The test is designed for most children from mid to late kindergarten through the start of second grade. The student is offered a sheet with meaningless words that need to be voiced. The student can pronounce both sounds separately and the whole word, which affects the test result (Biancarosa et al., 2020). Thus, students get a higher score if they phonologically recode a word and a lower score if they reproduce the individual sounds of the letters. As for a control metrics, a first-grade student should name 50 correct letter sounds per minute (Wilkes et al., 2020). Therefore, DIBELS tests allow the teacher to quickly prepare and adapt their lessons to the children’s needs.
Biancarosa, G., Kennedy, P. C., Park, S., Otterstedt, J., Gearin, B., Ives, C., & Yoon, H. (2020). 8th edition of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Technical manual. University of Oregon.
Hoover, W. A., & Tunmer, W. E. (2020). The cognitive foundations of reading and its acquisition: A framework with applications connecting teaching and learning. Springer Nature.
Wilkes, S., Kazakoff, E. R., Prescott, J. E., Bundschuh, K., Hook, P. E., Wolf, R., Hurwitz, L. B., & Macaruso, P. (2020). Measuring the impact of a blended learning model on early literacy growth. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 36(5), 595-609.