Amira assessments are intended to produce meaningful information to track student progress, analyze student reading abilities, and drive instruction. Amira evaluates and scores student speech automatically and instantaneously. Scored reading is parsed to enable a robust profile of reading ability metrics. These include five core metrics of reading:

Core Metric Details:

Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

Definition: A student’s ability to read aloud smoothly or with a natural ease
Calculate: Divide the words pronounced correctly (mispronunciations & skips excluded) by the number minutes to read a passage
Scale Used: Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM), is the scale commonly used to measure ORF and is supported by decades of research for screening and progress monitoring
Research: Hasbrouck and Tindal developed the original research (https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED531458 ). ORF has been nationally normed with corresponding grade level percentiles and is aligned with scales like Lexile, Developmental Reading Assessment, and Guided Reading Level

NOTE: The WCPM is also used to determine the Guided Reading Level displayed within Amira reports. The instructional reading level displayed is calculated from a concordance with WCPM.

Reading Mastery


Definition: A student’s ability to accurately pronounce words expected to be in a child’s vocabulary by a certain age or grade level
Scale Used: Reading Mastery is scaled using the Amira Reading Estimated Age (AREA)
Research: AREA scaling incorporates information about words correctly and incorrectly pronounced, in relation to the average Age of Acquisition (see http://crr.ugent.be/archives/806)
Purpose: AREA focuses on overall accuracy, as opposed to fluency measured by ORF alone. Benchmarks for AREA are based on typical age-ranges for students at a particular grade level (e.g. 1st grade students are usually 6-7 years old and generally read at that level)

Sight Recognition

Definition: A student’s ability to recognize and correctly pronounce sight words, words that students are encouraged to memorize and know by sight, as opposed to relying on decoding to sound them out
Prediction: Sight recognition is an especially important concept for early readers. Amira’s word corpus includes over 300 sight words (from the Dolch list and other high frequency words). Since every site word doesn't appear in every story, Amira uses the AREA score (see above) to predict the probability that sight words not contained in the story would be known by the student
Scale Used: The accumulation of this information produces the Estimated Sight Recognition Inventory (ESRI), an expected % correct for sight word recognition. Generally, by the reading age of approximately 9 years old, students are expected to have mastered nearly 100% of sight words. Thus, sight recognition is more important for younger readers as a metric for fluency


Phonological Awareness

Definition: Student’s ability to recognize and combine phonemes in different ways to produce words. It is a broadly defined skill that includes an awareness of word-sound correspondence, rhyming, and phonics
Scale Used: Phoneme mastery is expressed as Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF). Amira captures PSF from all the corresponding phonemes within words read by students. Students are scored based on how well each phoneme is being pronounced. A student is scored by the % of times phonemes are correctly pronounced. PSF is an unweighted average of these 44 scores

Research: Amira’s corpus of words is based on the Carnegie Mellon University Pronouncing Dictionary (http://www.speech.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/cmudict ), which contains a mapping to 44 distinct phonemes recognized by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA; https://www.dyslexia-reading-well.com/44-phonemes-in-english.html. The words of a story are broken down into all of the phonemes it contains.


NOTE: All 44 phonemes may not appear in every story, especially for early readers. In these cases, only the phonemes that are observed are scored.

Vocabulary Size

Definition: The estimated number of words in a student’s expressive vocabulary; a measure of how many words the student can produce by speaking.
Scale Used: Vocabulary Size is scaled using the Estimated Vocabulary Size (EVS)

Research: Amira’s estimate of expressive vocabulary is based on a large body of literature about the rate of vocabulary development as a function of different age ranges. This information has been combined from multiple published sources (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25611623 ). Amira uses the AREA score in combination with a nonlinear growth function (inferred from published research) to estimate the number of words in the student’s expressive vocabulary. Benchmarks for this scale are associated with typical ranges of values for students at various grade levels.


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