Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually learn to read and write. Important early literacy skills include knowledge of the alphabetic code (letters are used to represent individual sounds) and phonological awareness (spoken words are made up of syllables and sounds). Strength in these areas is important for early reading success.

Children with good early literacy skills:

  • attach names to printed letters
  • attach sounds to letters
  • clap out the number of syllables in a spoken word
  • identify words that rhyme
  • identify the first or last sound in a word
  • break a word into its individual sounds ( sun = /s/ /u/ /n/)

Characteristics of early literacy delays include difficulty naming letters and/or an inability to manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words. Early literacy delays may be due to lack of exposure or an underlying risk for a reading disorder.

How the Well Screening can help

Subtest 3: Word Sound Play measures the ability to manipulate syllables and sounds in words. The child is asked to repeat and then delete a word from a compound word, a syllable from a two-syllable word, or an initial or final sound in a 1-syllable word. Example: Say “Railroad”. Now say “Railroad” without saying, “rail”.

Subtest 8: Letter Recognition measures the ability to recognize and name letters. Six lowercase letters representing consonant sounds are included based on their similarity to capital letters. Three additional letters representing consonant sounds that are frequently reversed are included. One letter representing a vowel sound is also included. The letters are placed in two rows on a page, and the child is asked to name them. Items are not for the public domain.

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(Your Screening Code is emailed to you after you purchase the WELL screening.)