The cognitive assessment of reading in middle school: Summary of main screening and diagnostic tools of specific reading and reading-related cognitive disabilities


  • Pourcin L.
  • Cole P.

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As reported by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2012), almost 20% of French teenagers show difficulties in reading (OCDE, 2014). What are the French language tools the practitioner or educationalist (teacher, school doctor, psychologist, and speech-language pathologist) use to assess specific reading disorders for middle school students? The tools assessing reading comprehension skills, word-level reading skills and reading-related skills are presented by distinguishing the tools developed for screening of reading difficulties (the purpose of which is to detect early disease or risk factors for disease in large numbers of apparently healthy individuals) than them developed for diagnosing of reading difficulties (the purpose of which is to establish the presence [or absence] of disease as a basis for treatment decisions in symptomatic or screen positive individuals). This synthesis allows to identify their interests and limits, and to consider new tools respecting five essential criteria: (1) the tool structure must be based on recent theoretical models specific at the middle school, (2) the tool must assess reading comprehension skills (with control of listening comprehension skills) and the mastery of two word-level reading procedures (lexical and sublexical), (3) the tool must measure a set of reading-related skills such as phonological awareness, phonological short-term memory, rapid serial naming and morphological awareness, (4) the experimental material (vocabulary control) and the standardization must be recent or updated and (5) the speed must be measured accurately. (C) 2016 Societe Francaise de Psychologie. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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