Skip to the main content

Original scientific paper

Early literacy: The value of assessment

Mirjana Lenček orcid id ; Edukacijsko-rehabilitacijski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Martina Užarević ; Gojanec, Ulica Ljudevita Gaja 34, 42 000 Varaždin

Full text: croatian pdf 309 Kb

page 42-59

downloads: 2.424



Early literacy studies put varying emphasis on the contribution of different components – such as phonological awareness, letter recognition, print concept, spoken language skills, vocabulary knowledge, narrative ability, handwriting, and other predictors – to subsequent achievements in reading and writing as well as overall academic development. In Croatia, there is a lack of systematic research that would longitudinally track the development of these literacy predictor skills and abilities and a scarcity of clear educational preschool curricula that would support these skills crucial for later formal literacy.
Data in the current pilot study was obtained from three- and four-year-old children attending kindergarten using the Early Literacy Assessment questionnaire and the Phonological Awareness and Letter-Naming subtests of the PredČip test, which gathers information regarding the early literacy-skill levels of these children. As expected, the results indicate that older children show more knowledge regarding the concept of print, are more successful on phonological awareness and letter-naming tasks, and exhibit better graphomotor skills. No statistically signifi cant differences between the three- and four-year-olds were found on the group variable emerging reading and writing, which is based on the recognition of features of the written word and prewriting skills.
The obtained results were compared with expected achievement and norms in other languages and writing systems to support efforts to establish early literacy assessment criteria and best-practice teaching methods. The components of early literacy that were used in this study – i.e., the print concept, emergent literacy, fine motor skills, phonological awareness, and letter naming – can serve as starting point for screening children who are at risk of developing reading and writing difficulties or dyslexia. Specific findings in the assessed areas that indicate low scores or deviations could be used for the development of intervention programs, for which qualitative analysis of the findings would be necessary. Such qualitative analysis showed that task difficulty or success in various tasks is different for three year-olds than for four-year-olds.
This might imply that there is a nonlinear development of assessed skills, stemming from differing development conditions or from the fact that some skills are formally taught more often than others. Another study, with a greater number of participants and using assessment materials with analyzed psychometric properties, might provide additional insights into early literacy development.


early literacy; the print concept; phonological awareness; letter knowledge

Hrčak ID:



Publication date:


Article data in other languages: croatian

Visits: 5.400 *