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The Early Literacy Quick Assessment (ELQA) is a software assessment tool that facilitates formative progress monitoring of early literacy skills. Children's early literacy skills are assessed at the beginning of the school year and again at intervals throughout the school year so that teachers are able to, 1) identify children at risk for not meeting early literacy benchmarks, and 2) differentiate instruction to prepare young children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language and literacy skills to benefit from formal school instruction.

Teachers use the ELQA data to plan instruction that is differentiated to address each child's learning needs. Assessment data also helps teachers pinpoint what is and is not working in their curriculum so they may modify instruction to optimize student learning. The ELQA can provide data to guide flexible grouping instruction for all students in the classroom. The ELQA has four sections described below.

Alphabet Knowledge

  • Uppercase Letters: Students are shown 26 uppercase letters and are asked to name each letter.
  • Lowercase Letters: Students are shown 26 lowercase letters and are asked to name each letter.
  • Letter Sounds: Students are shown 26 uppercase letters and asked for the corresponding letter sounds.

Concepts of Print

This test consists of ten items used assess the child's knowledge of aspects of reading. The teacher uses an engaging early level text and asks the child questions about the book (e.g. story title, where to begin reading, which direction to read, return sweep, word by word pointing, meaning of period, etc.). An image that displays letters, numbers, and words is used to determine if the child can point to a letter, a word and the first letter in a word.

Phonological Awareness

  • Rhyme Recognition: Students are asked to decide whether each of five pairs of words rhymes (e.g., cat and hat).
  • Rhyme Generation: Students are asked to generate a word that rhymes with five different words spoken by the teacher.


  • Receptive Vocabulary: Students are shown a picture or sets of pictures and asked to point to the picture that represents the concept presented by the teacher. Concepts include: Body Parts, Directional Terms, Shapes, Ordinal Terms, Transportation, Community, Nature, Geography, Emotions, and Clothing.
  • Expressive Vocabulary: Students are shown 25 pictures and are asked to name the object shown in each picture. Concepts include: Animals, Body Parts, Clothing, Food, Household Objects, Nature, Common Objects, People, Tools, Toys, and Transportation.


ELQA Reports

The ELQA software generates individual student and classroom-level reports. The student report shows the students' scores for each subtest over time. The classroom report illustrates class progression over time and provides recommended flexible groupings according to the ELQA scores. The group reports are used to facilitate differentiated instruction. The individual reports can be used to help facilitation transition from one classroom to another, and also may be used to aid parent-teacher conferences.