Cal acquiring literacy in english researcher-developed assessments diagnostic assessment of reading comprehension (darc) electricity in costa rica


The tests are designed to measure central comprehension processes while minimizing the need for high levels of English oral proficiency or decoding ability. The tests were developed for the research study Transfer of Reading Skills in Bilingual Children, subproject 2 of Acquiring Literacy in English: Crosslinguistic, Intralinguistic, and Developmental Factors. Age or Grade of Examinees

The DARC tests are based on a task that was originally developed by Hannon & Daneman (2001) for university students. The DARC tests were developed for use with students in grades 2 through 5. Adaptation of the original task to create a test suitable for elementary school children involved using second-grade level

The DARC has listening and reading sections. A child takes just the listening or just the reading section depending on his or her reading ability. To determine the child’s reading ability, the assessor first asks the child to read a practice story aloud. The assessor keeps track of the number of words the child reads incorrectly or skips. If the child makes an error on 8 or more of the real words in the story, the child takes the listening section of the test. Otherwise, the child takes the reading section.

Next, the child is asked to listen to or read each section in one of two stories (Nan and Her Pets, Tom and Ren) one section at a time. The child then answers "Yes" or "No" to questions about each section. The assessor also asks the child to explain why he/she chose his/her answers after each question. After completing each section, the assessor reads or asks the child to read the previous section(s) again, along with the next section. At the end of the listening or reading, the assessor gives the paper copy of the story to the child and asks him/her to indicate the

comparability across Spanish and English, developmental sensitivity, and relation to standardized measures. The first study, carried out with 16 second-through sixth-grade English language learners, showed that the DARC items were at the appropriate reading level. The second study, with 28 native Spanish-speaking fourth graders who had scored poorly on the Reading Passages subtest of the Woodcock-Johnson Language Proficiency Battery-Revised (WLPB-R), demonstrated that yes-no answers were valid indicators of respondents’ thinking and that the Spanish and English versions of the DARC were comparable. The third study, carried out with 521 Spanish-speaking students in kindergarten through grade 3, confirmed that the four comprehension components assessed by the DARC could be measured independently. The data from the 192 third graders in the study showed that the DARC and the WLPB-R Passage Comprehension subtest were related (r=.61) but distinct, and influenced by different factors. In particular, DARC scores were less strongly related to word reading than Woodcock-Johnson comprehension scores.

Francis, D., Snow, C., August, D., Carlson, C., Miller, J., & Iglesias, A. (2006). Measures of reading comprehension: A latent variable analysis of the Diagnostic Assessment of Reading Comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading 10 (3), 301-322.

The English version of the DARC is available from the Center for Applied Linguistics. To request a copy, complete and submit the Application Form for Use of ALE Researcher-developed Assessment Instruments, available in Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF format.