Using individual growth and development indicators to measure early language and literacy

Kristen N. Missall, Judith J. Carta, Scott R. McConnell, Dale Walker, Charles R. Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Learning to read is founded on the acquisition of oral language, phonological processing, print awareness, knowledge, and comprehension skills acquired before school entry. Practitioners who work with very young children have limited means of knowing whether interventions in these areas are helping children make progress toward important language and early literacy outcomes. As a result, reporting of child outcomes in these areas is usually insufficient at the program, state, and national levels. Child performance measures are needed that are easy and repeatable so that estimates of child growth can be obtained and used to inform intervention decisions. Individual Growth and Development Indicators are emerging as a robust approach to assessment particularly well suited to these challenges. This article describes 5 Individual Growth and Development Indicators for measuring progress in young children's early language and literacy. A brief overview of theoretical and empirical background information is provided demonstrating the reliability, validity, and feasibility of this approach for measuring growth in these critical areas of child development. Examples illustrate how these measures are used in early intervention programs for evaluating the progress of children as well as for program evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Early childhood
  • Early literacy
  • General outcome measurement
  • IGDI
  • Individual Growth and Development Indicators
  • Language


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