Process-Based Assessment of Reading and Listening Skills in Elementary School (Project part Frankfurt)

Differentiated diagnosis of the reading literacy of elementary pupils

Project description

From the perspective of cognitive psychology, reading comprehension is the efficient completion of component processes on the word-, sentence-, and text-level. To date, little is known about the structure and development of these sub processes during the course of reading acquisition in primary school. One reason is the lack of testing procedures that allow an efficiency- and process-oriented measurement of reading skills and corresponding auditory skills in primary school children.


One goal of this project is to develop appropriate computer-based testing procedures, which will be based on the collection of reaction times. In terms of theory we aim at gaining new insights into the structure and development of reading as well as listening comprehension component processes and their efficiency. In terms of practical applications, the results will allow for a detailed and support-oriented diagnosis of reading skills both in average and poor readers. Furthermore, the results may be used for an improved as well as adaptive design of reading instruction.

Methodological Approach

As a first step, we developed computer-based testing procedures for the assessment of individual differences in the efficiency of component processes of reading (ProDi-L) and listening (ProDi-H) comprehension. In a cross-sectional study with primary school children (N=704, grades 1-4) ProDi-L and ProDi-H were tested, optimized and validated.

To use ProDi-L and ProDi-H for educational practice and further research, the next step aims at providing norm-referenced tests through data obtained in an additional cross-sectional study. Furthermore, a longitudinal study, already started in the first phase will be continued. This includes 1211 primary school children from two cohorts, which are accompanied from school enrollment until the end of fourth grade.


Grant by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the Programme of Empirical Educational Research, coordinated by the Research Initiative for Language Diagnosis and Language Support, FiSS.


Prof. Dr. Tobias Richter (Universität Kassel)

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
08/2009 – 08/2015
External funding