Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



White paper, University of Nebraska-Lincoln & University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe Meyer Institute, March 1, 2022


Copyright © 2022 by the authors.

Preliminary data from this report were previously shared: Jackson, B. Marvin, C. & Taylor, C. (2012). Infant-Toddler Literacy Assessment (ITLA): PReliminary data and next steps in development. Poster presentation at the 31st Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and their Families. Minneapolis, MN.


Assessment of emerging literacy in young children is generally limited to either skill development in children over 3 years of age or the quality and context of young children’s early literacy experiences. Although there has been promotion of their early literacy experiences, assessment of emerging pre-literacy behaviors in children younger than 3 years has yet to be organized into a single tool.

Preliminary work on the Infant Toddler Literacy Assessment (ITLA) has progressed through initial steps of scale development and shown promise as a criterionbased, standardized assessment for tracking children’s pre-literacy behaviors and guiding practitioners in supporting development of those behaviors in populations that might otherwise show delays later-on. Previous analyses of data on 450+ children provided statistical support of a developmental sequence of ITLA exemplar behaviors, from easiest or earliest learned to later developed skills. Results of the present study showed the ITLA-3 has moderate construct validity with the PPVT™-IV and demonstrates one overall construct of pre-literacy across its 15 exemplars and 105 behaviors. Evidence now exists to support use of ITLA-3 by early childhood teachers to assess and guide the advancement of pre-literacy behaviors in infants and toddlers. Ongoing development of the ITLA-3 is recommended for further standardization.