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Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2018 Oct;43(3):129-141. doi: 10.1080/14015439.2017.1384055. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

The letter knowledge assessment tool.

Author information

a Mediated Learning Academy , Coquitlam , Canada.
b School of Health Sciences (ESSUA) , University of Aveiro , Aveiro , Portugal.
c Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS.UA) , University of Aveiro , Aveiro , Portugal.
d Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Castelo de Paiva , Sobrado , Portugal.
e CIDMA - Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, Department of Mathematics , University of Aveiro , Aveiro , Portugal.
f Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro (IEETA) , University of Aveiro , Aveiro , Portugal.



There is a need to develop letter knowledge assessment tools to characterise the letter knowledge in Portuguese pre-schoolers and to compare it with pre-schoolers from other countries, but there are no tools for this purpose in Portugal. The aim of this paper is to describe the development and validation procedures of the Prova de Avaliação de Competências de Pré-Literacia (PACPL), which assesses letter knowledge.


This study includes data that has been gathered in two phases: pilot and main study. In the pilot study, an expert panel of six speech and language pathologists analysed the instrument. Children (n = 216) aged 5;0-7;11 participated in the main study that reports data related to the psychometric characteristics of the PACPL. Content validity, internal consistency, reliability and contributing factors to performance were examined statistically.


A modified Bland-Altman method revealed good agreement amongst evaluators. The main study showed that the PACPL has a very good internal consistency and high inter-rater (96.2% of agreement and a Cohen's k value of 0.92) and intra-rater (95.6% of agreement and a Cohen's k value of 0.91) agreement. Construct validity of the PCAPL was also assured (Cronbach's α of 0.982). Significant differences were found between age groups with children increasing their letter knowledge with age. In addition, they were better at identifying than at producing both letter names and letter sounds.


The PACPL is a valid and reliable instrument to assess letter knowledge in Portuguese children.


Children; instrument; letter knowledge; literacy; reliability; validity

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