Learning to read is parasitic on hearing small differences between speech sounds. Many children with hearing loss need to work on the foundation of recognizing and discriminating the phonemes before they are ready to work on learning to associate the sounds to their respective print letters. It is critical for early literacy skills to be carefully assessed in children age 3 through kindergarten. The TOPEL measures knowledge of print and phonological awareness. I was also exciting to find that it looks at how children are able to not only label words, but also requires them show understanding of meaning. If you work with children transitioning from early intervention, preschoolers and children in kindergarten this is an important test to use! Karen Anderson, Director
Ages: 3 to 5-11 years Testing Time: 25 to 30 minutes Administration: Individual
Children entering kindergarten or first grade are expected to have sufficient knowledge of vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge. The Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) is a theoretically sound instrument designed to identify preschoolers who are at risk for literacy problems; therefore, allowing early intervention to develop weak or missing skills.
The TOPEL has three subtests. All the results of which are then combined to determine the “Composite Score” that ultimately best represents a child’s emergent literacy skills:
- Subtest 1: Print Knowledge — 36 items; measures alphabet knowledge and early knowledge about written language conventions and form; the child is asked to identify letters and written words, point to specific letters, names specific letters, identify letters associated with specific sounds, and say the sounds associated with specific letters
- Subtest 2: Definitional Vocabulary — 35 items; measures single-word oral vocabulary and definitional vocabulary (assesses both surface and deep vocabulary knowledge); the child is shown a picture and asked to tell what the picture is, and to describe one of its important features
- Subtest 3: Phonological Awareness — 27 items; measures word elision and blending abilities; the child is asked to say a word, then say what is left after dropping out specific sounds (elision) for the first 12 items; the child is asked to listen to separate sounds and combine them to form a word (blending) for the remaining 15 items.
The TOPEL has three principle uses:
- Identification: Results from the TOPEL subtests are useful for documenting a child’s print, oral vocabulary, and phonological awareness ability
- Documentation of Progress: Federal statutes, state laws, and/or school district policies at times require documentation of progress
- Research: Educators can use this instrument to determine intervention-related change or to select students for research participation
The TOPEL is easy to administer by professionals who are interested in examining skills related to early literacy. It provides valid and reliable raw scores, standard scores, and percentiles. The normative sample consists of 842 preschool-aged children (3 to 5 years), residing in 12 states.
COMPLETE TOPEL KIT INCLUDES: Examiner’s Manual, Picture Book and 25 Record Booklets (©2007).