The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills

Topic: Academic Performance
Words: 313 Pages: 1

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) is a set of tasks that help educators assess the literacy abilities of children. Instead of implementing one test in which students are assessed on their overall ability to read, DIBELS is a system in which multiple tests generate results based on various reading implications. As a result, educators are able to gain insight into the specific areas that are to be addressed for better literacy skills. The test can be administered to children of different ages and is inclusive in regards to certain conditions and special needs, minimizing potential academic barriers.

DIBELS’s purpose is to identify the literacy skills of the child who takes the tests. Thus, the objective is to determine how fast, phonologically aware, and perceptive to alphabetic principles the child is (DIBELS, 2019). The test can be applied in multiple settings and used for assessing children between kindergarten years and the 8th grade. Its reliability is illustrated in the fact that more than 15,000 schools use it to identify potential literacy issues in students (Morris et al., 2017). Moreover, the tests can be effectively implemented in an elementary school classroom. Since DIEBELS is sensitive to changes and improvements in child literacy, the system can help detect changes in perception, speed, and similar reading aspects (Frey, 2018). Thus, in an elementary school classroom, it can be used to track the progress or determine the areas that require more practice.

DIBELS is a reliable set of tests that can be effectively applied to identify possible literacy limitations and maximize results in classrooms. The evidence-based approach can be implemented in an elementary school classroom and utilized for the purpose of determining how the children are improving or whether the improvement is not adequate. As a result, educators can implement additional techniques in case the results of tests show low scores in certain areas.


DIBELS. (2019). DIBELS 8th Edition. Web.

Frey, B. B. (2018). Dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation. Web.

Morris, D., Trathen, W., Perney, J., Gill, T., Schlagal, R., Ward, D., & Frye, E. M. (2017). Three DIBELS tasks vs. three informal reading/spelling tasks: A comparison of predictive validity. Reading Psychology, 38(3), 289–320. Web.

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