Send to

Choose Destination
Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2009 Apr;40(2):161-73. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2009/07-0099).

Validity of teacher report for assessing the emergent literacy skills of at-risk preschoolers.

Author information

Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, P.O. Box 400873, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive validity of teacher report for assessing the emergent literacy skills of preschool-age children. The aims were twofold: (a) to examine predictive relationships between teacher report and direct behavioral assessment, and (b) to examine the extent to which teacher report accurately differentiates children who are exhibiting low levels of emergent literacy skills relative to their peers.


Forty-four preschool teachers completed a rating form reporting the print-related emergent literacy skills of 209 children who were enrolled in their classrooms. Approximately 2 months later, the children completed direct assessments of these skills.


Correlations between teacher report and children's performance on direct behavioral assessments were positive, moderate to large in size, and statistically significant. In terms of classifying children into groupings based on risk (e.g., at risk, low risk), global teacher ratings demonstrated a sensitivity of 51.9% and a specificity of 87.9%.


The present results indicate that teacher report provides a somewhat valid representation of children's skills. However, the diagnostic accuracy of teacher report for identifying children who are at risk is generally low. With this limitation in mind, teacher report can provide an important complement to current assessment approaches that are used in preschool settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center