Jessica Powell

Teachers should be wary of taking reading age as read

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Tests to measure children’s reading ability in relation to their age have been used for decades. But are they actually any use? And should teachers be making decisions about their students’ needs based on the results? Jessica Powell finds out

Literacy in schools: Are tests showing children's reading age really any use?

I am 35 years old. No wait, maybe I’m 14 years and three months old. Or am I really 15? When calculating my reading age, it appears to be difficult to get a conclusive answer. Different tests tell me different things, sometimes with more variation than is comfortable. And what does “reading age” even mean? 

Reading ages, of course, are a lot more complicated than actual ages. For starters, there are a huge number of test options available to determine at what age a person is reading, from simple free tests that involve getting a student to read out a list of words of increasing difficulty – ...

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