The Test of Phoneme Identities

The Test of Phoneme Identities

The Test of Phoneme Identities is designed to see whether beginners recognize phonemes when they are hidden in spoken words. Research has shown this measure to be a particularly effective predictor of code-breaking potential in children who do not yet have the alphabetic insight that letters signal the vocal gestures of speech.

Materials: None, other than a copy of the image on this page for reading the items and recording responses. The test is administered conversationally. Read with expression. Do not emphasize phonemes. Accept any repetition of the sentence that includes the target words, but repeat the sentence if either is incorrect. It requires a correct approximation of the isolated phoneme. Repeat the sound-to-word matching question if the response is unclear. To record the answers, circle the child’s response in the words of the question.

Directions: We’re going to play a repeating game. First, I’ll say a sentence, and then you say it back. Then I’ll say a sound, and you say it back. Then I want you to listen for the sound in a word. Let’s begin.

Interpretation: Score the test by counting the number of items correct out of 38.

  • Since there are two choices per item, we can expect scores in the vicinity of 19 by chance. Students who score below 27 are probably not aware of phonemes.
  • The average kindergarten score is 28, with a standard deviation of 6. Scores in the 28–33 range imply some developing phoneme awareness.
  • Students who score 34–38 have well-developed phoneme awareness. They are ready to learn to read and spell words. Follow this link to the letterbox lesson, an explicit, hands-on lesson format for teaching phonics.

Reference Murray, B. A., Smith, K. A., & Murray, G. G. (2000). The Test of Phoneme Identities: Predicting alphabetic insight in prealphabetic readers Journal of Literacy Research, 32, 421-447

Get in Touch With The Reading Genie

Have questions, need assistance, or want to explore the world of decodable stories with us? Fill out the form below, and we'll be delighted to assist you on your reading journey! And we'll get back to you soon

Get in Touch

Send us an email

[email protected]
Follow Us