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January 24, 2012

WJIII Cognitive: Sound Blending Advice


Some examiners report that, in their experience, the Sound Blending test “scores high.”  There’s probably more than one reason for this observation.  For example, it’s understood that cognitive abilities reflect aspects of prior knowledge and learning (some more than others). Our Speech Pathologists do a pretty good job of teaching phonological processing, so clearly it’s amenable to instruction.  Recent focus on phonological processing in the reading curriculum may be one influence. Also, Kevin McGrew has noted that the Sound Awareness test (in the Achievement battery) is probably a better test of phonological processing when looking at reading.

But before you go searching for speculative notions make sure you’re administering the test correctly. The sound blending test (and letter-word identification on the achievement test) requires the examinee to state the word fluently as a single word.  In other words they can’t simply be repeating back the sounds to you.  If they are “sounding it out” then it’s not correct.