Vol. 9 (2002)

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.