Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement

Marie Clay’s “An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement” is used to assess children in Reading Recovery. The Observation Survey provides important information on early reading and writing behaviours and it is used regularly by classroom teachers and researchers. All Reading Recovery teachers are thoroughly trained in its administration, scoring and analysis.  Even if your school does not implement Reading Recover, this survey can be a valuable assessment tool.  CIRR can provide training to teachers in your school to utilize this survey tool for early learners.

The Observation Survey is an assessment with a standard administration and includes six literacy tasks: letter identification, word test, concepts about print, writing vocabulary, hearing and recording sounds in words, and text reading.

Children receiving Reading Recovery support are assessed using the Observation Survey before entering Reading Recovery, upon completion of their series of lessons (several weeks) and at the end of the school year.

Reading Recovery teachers use several other instruments to observe students’ progress over time. Teachers keep daily lesson records to keep track of each child’s emerging competencies in reading and writing. Teachers collect and study running records of text, writing books, and weekly records of reading and writing vocabulary. This information is critical as teachers make careful decisions about their teaching and the needs of the children in Reading Recovery.

The Observation Survey was redeveloped in French several years ago as le sondage d’observation en lecture-écriture. It is used in Canada in French first language and French Immersion where Intervention préventive en lecture-écriture is implemented.  You can read more about the development of the Observation Survey in French and Spanish in this article from the Journal of Reading Recovery.

For more information on Observation Survey training for teachers, contact the CIRR.