Development of a tool to screen risk of literacy delays in French-speaking children: PHOPHLO

Susan Rvachew, Phaedra Royle, Laura M. Gonnerman, Brigitte Stanké, Alexandra Marquis, Alexandre Herbay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Literacy is crucial for success, both professionally and personally. Oral language skills are closely related to literacy development in children. When a child has weak oral language skills, they will have difficulty achieving reading and writing competencies within the expected time frame. In this paper, we present results from a longitudinal and cross-sectional study of the relationship between oral language skills in pre-literate children, and one aspect of their literacy skills in early elementary school—specifically, spelling. The study was conducted with French-speaking children and French-language learners from Quebec, a population that has been understudied in this area. We developed a predictive tool that will allow teachers and other professionals to assess oral language skills in young children and to predict those children at risk for literacy difficulties. Specifically, we screened children’s speech perception, speech production, phonological awareness, and morphology production abilities at entry to first grade and predicted spelling skills at the end of second grade. The screening tool that we developed proved to have a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 93% as a screen for poor spelling abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalCanadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Awareness
  • Literacy
  • Morphology
  • Oral language
  • Phonological
  • Screening
  • Speech perception
  • Speech production
  • Spelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a tool to screen risk of literacy delays in French-speaking children: PHOPHLO'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this