Classroom Based Literacy Screening in Early French Immersion: A Validation Study


The importance of early identification for at-risk readers has been well-established and documented in recent decades (Vaughn & Fletcher, 2012; Foorman & Fletcher, 1998), providing support for the implementation of early screening programs in schools. In 2018, the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab at OISE began collaborating with the Louis Riel School Division in Manitoba, as they implemented an early screening program to identify at-risk readers with a focus on difficulty with phonological awareness. Within the context of this collaboration, the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab developed and piloted a French early literacy screening battery for use in French immersion classrooms. The Test des habiletés fondamentales en littératie (THaFoL) is an evidence-based assessment tool that is easily administered and interpreted by classroom teachers. It provides educators with meaningful data to identify children at-risk for reading difficulties and to guide instructional and intervention practices for all students. It assesses skill in letter naming (beginning in kindergarten), and word, pseudo-word, and oral passage reading (in grades 1 and 2). A phonemic awareness subtest is currently under development for inclusion in the battery. The THaFoL has been implemented across the LRSD over a period of two years, generating data on approximately 1500 FI children. In the fall of 2023, we began the process of assessing the external validity of our screening measures, using the WISC-V matrix reasoning subtest, the French-Canadian PPVT-V, the word reading subtest of the WIAT, and a French version of the TOWRE. Approximately 200 Grade 1 and 2 students have been recruited and about half have been tested, with data collection ongoing. This presentation will outline the literacy screening initiative and provide an overview of the data we have collected thus far. The French measures developed in our lab will be presented featuring recently established benchmarks, as well as the validation study that is ongoing.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

9:00 – 9:30 AM ADT

Laura Coon
School and Clinical Child Psychology Student
University of Toronto

Songtao Wang
PhD Student, Developmental Psychology & Education
University of Toronto

Kathleen Hipfner-Boucher
University of Toronto

Dr. Xi Chen
Co-Lead, Literacy Theme
Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development 
University of Toronto, OISE

Richard Kruk
Ron Cadez