April 18, 2012

New Book Describes Program to Improve Literacy


  • A new book highlights a novel approach to reading assessment, including the program's challenges and successes
  • "The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy" is edited by Amber Gove, Ph.D., and Anna Wetterberg, Ph.D.
  • The book puts the program in context of issues and developments in literacy and education
  • The book is published by RTI Press

Media Contacts

Book cover

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new book, The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy, describes a novel approach to reading assessment and the challenges and successes of implementing the program.

The book is edited by Amber Gove, Ph.D., a senior research analyst at RTI and Anna Wetterberg, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at RTI, and published by RTI Press. This book illustrates aspects of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) approach to describe and explain how teachers, communities, development practitioners and policy makers have used early reading assessments to improve student learning.

Nobel Laureate and Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf authored the book's foreword. She wrote, "Without information about which areas need improvement, we cannot decide which course of action to take. Assessments such as those described in this book are especially important as they identify which skills need reinforcement—information that can directly inform teaching and learning."

EGRA gauges early literacy skills through a 15-minute individual oral assessment of five fundamental reading skills. RTI International, with the support of a range of donors, has worked with education experts to develop, pilot, and implement EGRA. The assessment has been administered in more than 50 countries and 70 languages since 2006.

This book aims to take stock of the substantial amount of information and experience generated through the use of EGRA and shares that knowledge with practitioners, policy makers and international donors.

"Although these assessments have shown very low levels of basic literacy skills in many countries, the results have prompted policy makers and educators to search for solutions to address the shortcomings, including developing teaching and learning strategies and materials. Many of these efforts have resulted in impressive advances in reading levels," wrote the authors.

The chapters in the book cover not only particular applications of the instrument but also put EGRA in the context of broader issues and developments in literacy and education.

Watch a video of Amber Gove discussing the contents and intended audience of The Early Grade Reading Assessment.