WordSword: An Efficient Online Word Reading Assessment for Global English

Jana Chi-San HO, Catherine MCBRIDE*, Kelvin Fai Hong LUI, Marta ŁOCKIEWICZ

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The development of efficient and reliable online assessments has become increasingly important in the digital era. We developed a 10-min online word reading assessment of global English based on the existing paper-and-pencil version of our English silent word reading test. The test includes two parts, namely, random word recognition and contextual word reading. A total of 889 participants (437 children and 392 adults; 62.7% female) took part in the study. They were from various regions including mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Poland, the United States, and the Philippines. Reliability and validity analyses on various demographics samples (by age and country/region of origin) demonstrated that the WordSword Test is highly reliable and valid (e.g., the correlation of this test with other English reading measures were above .80). Education level was positively correlated with test performance, while the correlations between age and test performance were not consistent. Ninety-seven children participants also took the paper-and-pencil version of the WordSword Test. The correlation between performances on the online and paper-and-pencil versions of the test was .879, one year apart. With more children and adults taking the WordSword Test, we ultimately hope to establish norms by area, grade level, and age.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Data collection of this study has been approved by the ethics board at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Survey and Behavioral Research Ethics Committee. References numbers are C4054-17WF and SBRE-19-540.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • word reading test
  • English reading
  • word recognition
  • reading fluency
  • global English


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