In-Depth Diagnostic Assessment of Literacy Skills

DIBELS Deep Comprehension, Fluency, Oral Language (CFOL) Early Release

Dynamic Measurement Group is pleased to announce the continued early release of DIBELS® Deep CFOL which will be available for research partners during the 2018-2019 school year.

  • For details on the DIBELS Deep CFOL Early Release, read our announcement.
  • For technical adequacy data on DIBELS Deep CFOL, read this summary.


In response to the demand for diagnostic reading assessments that are cost effective, time efficient, reliable, valid, and linked to DIBELS®, DMG has developed an assessment series called DIBELS Deep. There are two DIBELS Deep assessment tools available: DIBELS Deep Phonemic Awareness and Word Reading and Decoding (PA & WRD) and DIBELS Deep Comprehension, Fluency, and Oral Language (CFOL). Together these assessment tools provide educators with specific and detailed information for differentiating instruction corresponding to each of the key basic early literacy skills: Phonological Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, Accuracy and Fluency with Connected Text, Comprehension, and Vocabulary.

More specifically, DIBELS Deep PA & WRD assists educators with in-depth assessment of phonemic awareness skills, including tasks like segmenting and blending compound words, syllables, and phonemes. In addition, the range of word reading and decoding skills typically taught in grades K-3 are assessed.

DIBELS Deep CFOL assists educators in untangling the many possible reasons why a student may be struggling with comprehension. CFOL assesses the following areas: story coherence/text structure, listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary and oral language (e.g., formal definitions, morphological awareness, figurative language, syntax), and fluency with expository and narrative texts.

These advanced assessment tools are designed to provide additional in-depth information to help improve instruction for students who have not yet reached their grade-level benchmark goals, have met some benchmark goals but are inaccurate in their skills, or are older but have very low skills. Both DIBELS Deep PA & WRD and CFOL may be used any time an educator would like to have additional assessment on a student who is not making sufficient progress and when more information is needed for instructional planning.

DIBELS Deep PA & WRD and DIBELS Deep CFOL do not replace DIBELS Next®. The assessments have different purposes (see the table below) but are complementary. Although using DIBELS Next and DIBELS Next Survey is not required in order to use the DIBELS Deep assessments, they provide information for determining an efficient starting place.

  Students Tested Purpose Skills Measured
DIBELS Next All Students Benchmark
Indicators of 5 key basic early literacy skills
Some Students Progress
DIBELS Next Survey Some Students Determine instructional level Indicators of 5 key basic early literacy skills
Determine progress monitoring level
Help set appropriate
out-of-level goals
DIBELS Deep      
DIBELS Deep PA & WRD Some Students Diagnostic Basic early literacy skills —
phonemic awareness,
alphabetic principle/phonics
DIBELS Deep CFOL Some Students Diagnostic Basic early literacy skills —
oral language/vocabulary,

All DIBELS Deep measures are individually-administered, untimed diagnostic assessments of critical reading skills for students in grades K-6 and for older students with very low skills. The precise information provided by these assessments helps educators make informed decisions and answer questions to better target instruction for struggling readers:

  • What types of support do students need (i.e., prompts, modeling, or scaffolding)?
  • What specific skills should be the focus of instruction or intervention?
  • What instructional strategies should be implemented?

These rigorously researched materials are:

  • Highly rated in terms of usefulness of data and ease of use
  • Used to assess all the critical skills involved in reading for meaning, at an adequate rate, and with a high degree of accuracy
  • Aligned with the Common Core State Standards
  • Time-efficient and cost-effective
  • Linked to DIBELS Next but can be used for students who are not reaching
  • Benchmark on any screener

DIBELS Deep is available for:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Word Reading and Decoding
  • Comprehension (listening and reading)
  • Fluency
  • Oral Language (e.g., grammar, syntax, vocabulary and morphology)

How to Get DIBELS Deep


DIBELS Deep PA & WRD is available for purchase from Voyager Sopris Learning. You can also view sample materials and a one-hour webinar from the author Dr. Kelly A. Powell-Smith.

Visit Voyager Sopris Learning.


DIBELS Deep CFOL is currently available as an early release product.

For more details, read our announcement.

DIBELS Deep Resources

Common Core Alignment Document for DIBELS Deep PA & WRD


DIBELS Deep PA & WRD Fact Sheet
A printer-friendly overview of DIBELS Deep Phonemic Awareness & Word Reading and Decoding.


Common Core Alignment Document for DIBELS Deep CFOL


DIBELS Deep CFOL Fact Sheet
A printer-friendly overview of DIBELS Deep Comprehension, Fluency, and Oral Language.