Pre-Reading Skills in Trinidad and Tobago Students in the First Three Years of School


  • Frank C. Worrell Penn State University
  • Marley W. Watkins Pen State University
  • Tim J. Runge Mifflin County District in Pennsylvania
  • Tracey E. Hall Center for Applied Technology (CAST)


Primary School Students, Reading Ability, Trinidad and Tobago


Phonemic awareness is an important precursor of reading and has been found to predict reading comprehension scores in the middle and upper elementary school grades avove and beyond contributions by tests of ability. In this study, we examined scores on the Mountain Shadows Phonemic Awareness Scale (MS-PAS) in a sample of over 4,000 students attending schools in the eight educational regions of Trinidad and Tobago. Results indicated that MS-PAS scores were reliable in this sample. A weak relationship was found between MS-PAS scores and age, and a moderate relationshp was found between MS-PAS scores and grade level. There were regional and grade level differences in scores, with higher grades obtaining higher score. However, no gender differences were found at any grade level. It is suggested that phonemic awareness scores could serve as an early indicator of students in need of additional assistance in the classroom.

Author Biographies

Frank C. Worrell, Penn State University

Associate Professor in the School Psychology programme

Marley W. Watkins, Pen State University

Professor-in-Charge of the School Psychology programme

Tim J. Runge, Mifflin County District in Pennsylvania

School Psychologist

Tracey E. Hall, Center for Applied Technology (CAST)

National Center on Asccessing the General Curriculum, Curriculum Director - Senior Research Scientist and Instructional Designer