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An exploration of rapid-use reading-accuracy tests in an Australian context

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posted on 2022-10-28, 05:57 authored by Susan A Galletly

When compared to western countries such as the USA, Australia has made relatively little use of reading-accuracy tests at the school level. This is despite there being readily available rapid-use reading-accuracy tests such as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS, Good & Kaminski, 2002a), and the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE, Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999).

Current developments such as the publication of the report of the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (NITL) have given impetus to addressing this issue. This investigation explores the use of both the DIBELS and TOWRE tests to establish their usefulness in Australian school settings for the following purposes:

  • Providing reliable achievement data for monitoring reading-accuracy achievement at school level.
  • Providing useful qualitative diagnostic data.
  • Building school and teacher understanding of reading-accuracy development, assessment and instruction.
  • Building school and teacher effectiveness in instructional decision-making from test-data, to improve reading-accuracy instruction and achievement.

The results from the investigation indicate that both DIBELS and TOWRE tests are suitable for the above stated purposes. The results intimate a need to establish norms for Australian use of the tests, and value in developing specific additional tests.

Based on the findings of this research, a number of recommendations have been made towards Australian use of DIBELS and TOWRE tests. A model of reading-accuracy development is also presented for use in Australian reading instruction.


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Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Queensland

Open Access

  • Yes

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Bruce Knight

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis

Thesis Format

  • By publication