Assessment of prereading competence Ivanka Bider Petelin
Summary: In order to better cope with learning difficulties in the area of reading, early treatment and consequently, early detection of deficiency is important. This research is concerned with the design of an instrument with which to detect children with less-developed prereading competence. The theoretical background presents various factors affecting reading efficiency (prereading competence) that are required in learning to read. These are: visual discrimination, phonological awareness, rapid automatic naming, short-term memory, vocabulary, and comprehension. In Slovenia we do not have a standardized instrument that assesses prereading competence in the areas that are mentioned above. We designed a battery of tests that assesses prereading competence based on well-established foreign and Slovenian instruments or tools. A sample of 84 children aged 5 to 7 years were tested. The research confirms that children in their first year of primary school have a better developed prereading competence than preschool children. The survey also confirms that there is no significant difference between boys and girls in the development of prereading competence. The results show that the designed instrument enables identification of children who are at risk of developing reading disorders.