Issues in Phonological Awareness Assessment
Lindamood, P. C., Bell, N., & Lindamood, P. (1992). Issues in phonological awareness assessment. Annals of Dyslexia 42, 242-259. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02654948
Awareness of the internal phonological structure of words is a causal factor in
success with the alphabetic principle in word recognition. However, findings
with the Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization (LAC) Test reveal 25-30% of
the population show deficiency in a subtle component of phonological awareness
termed comparator function. We argue that this comparator function–an ability to hold the phoneme and~or syllable segments of two phonological structures in mind and compare and represent any variations in the number, identity, or order of their segments–is a primary sensory-cognitive function underlying the secondary function of self-correction in word recognition and spelling. And since word recognition correlates highly with comprehension, comparator function also indirectly impacts this basic purpose for reading. We suggest that the needs of many individuals, including educators themselves, for development and refinement of phonological awareness/comparator function may be misdiagnosed and underaddressed unless more sensitive measures of phonological awareness are used. The consequence of inadequate assessment/ remediation of these deficiencies in educators is that they may be less able to assess and address these deficiencies in their students. Standard phonics instruction is known to be ineffective in developing phonological awareness for many individuals. However, phonological deficits can be addressed both preventively and remedially using procedures that are fundamentally different from typical phonics instruction.