A short test of English silent word reading for English language learners

Sylvia Chanda KALINDI, Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG, Shingfong CHAN, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Chia-Ying LEE, Urs MAURER, Xiuhong TONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


We developed a test of English silent word reading, following work by Mather, Hammill, Allen and Roberts (2004) and Bell, McCallum, Krik, Fuller, and McCane-Bowling (2007), in order to tap Hong Kong Chinese children's reading of English as a foreign language. We created one subtest of individual word reading and another of word reading contextualized within sentences; together, these tests require no more than 10 minutes for administration. In Study 1, we administered the entire test to 552 second grade Hong Kong Chinese children between the ages of 70 and 121 months old, from five different primary schools. The association between the subtests of English silent word reading and contextual reading was positively correlated (.78). In Study 2, 77 Hong Kong Chinese second graders were tested on our newly developed English silent word reading test, together with non-verbal IQ, an English word reading and a Chinese character recognition test (both read aloud). With age and non-verbal IQ statistically controlled, there was a significant correlation between English silent word reading and the more standard English word reading, read aloud, (.78); the association between English silent word reading and Chinese character recognition was also positively correlated (.49). This newly created test is a quick and reliable measure, suitable for both educators and researchers to use to identify poor readers who learn English as a foreign or second language. Copyright © 2015 Korean Association of Child Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
JournalChild Studies in Asia-Pacific Contexts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Kalindi, S. C., Mcbride Chang, C., Chan, S., Chung, K. H. K., Lee, C. Y., Maurer, U., et al. (2015). A short test of English silent word reading for English language learners. Child Studies in Asia-Pacific Contexts, 5(2), 95-105.


  • English language learners
  • Reading ability
  • Short test
  • Silent reading test


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