Measuring the expanded reading skills of students with intellectual disabilities: Evaluation of a diagnostic
In German speaking research studies reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) is
mostly based on an expanded reading concept in which reading of iconic and symbolic signs is viewed to be a
necessary prerequisite of learning to read an alphabetic script. Although theoretically based developmental
models of expanded reading acquisition have been published, there is a total lack of empirical research in this
area. Recently Koch and Euker (2009) presented a standardised test of expanded reading skills called Leselupe
This pilot study is aimed at evaluating the Leselupe and to gather first empirical data on the acquisition of
expanded reading skills. 40 persons with ID participated in this study. The Leselupe was applied twice
within a three-week interval. Additionally, phonological awareness skills, writing skills, intelligence and
working memory capacity were measured.
Results showed that although there is a need for modification of proposed test procedure, the Leselupe
certainly represents a reliable and valid test for measuring the expanded reading skills of persons with ID.
Correlations between iconic-symbolic and alphabetical reading performance were found to be non significant.
This finding stands in contrast to theoretically derived expectations about the development of expanded
Keywords: intellectual disability, reading, expanded reading concept, reading diagnosis.