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Review - Aiseanna

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English Tracker CD ROM - English Diagnostic Program
English Tracker - English Diagnostic Program is a computer based diagnostic assessment tool designed for highlighting areas of difficulty in literacy for pupils in first, second and third classes. It is not a standardised test but is useful for giving a quick assessment of a new pupil or as a start/end of term test for a pupil that perhaps is receiving classroom support.

The programme tests four areas:
Auditory and visual skills (discrimination skills, phonics, syllables and rhyming)
Vocabulary (Dolch List and everyday vocabulary such as days of the week, colours etc)
Spelling and grammar skills
Comprehension (word meanings and riddles)

I used the English Tracker CD with a pupil in second class to get a baseline profile which gave an idea of what skills need to be tackled initially. Test A of Level 2 was then administered at the end of the term thus providing an ongoing review of how the pupil did throughout the term.

Administering the test was very straightforward. The pupil was presented with a series of questions in each area and multiple choice answers. Once the test was completed, a total score was compiled and a breakdown of the score across the four areas tested was also given. Drawing on data from the individual tests it is possible to present a more detailed profile of the strengths and weaknesses of the pupils.

As a first line diagnostic tool English Tracker could be useful for the classroom teacher and would provide a measure of progress on a classroom support plan. The tests do not take very long to administer. In addition, I found the task was quite structured for the pupil and he was able to complete it relatively independently. English Tracker may also be a useful tool for support teachers as it provides some direction where diagnostic testing may be required.

Reviewed by Sharon O Driscoll (InTouch October 2020)
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