IELS 2018 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

The study covers three main domains with various sub-domains:

Cognitive skills

  • Emergent literacy
    • listening comprehension
    • vocabulary
    • phonological awareness
  • Emergent numeracy
    • numbers and counting
    • working with numbers
    • measurements
    • shapes
    • space pattern
  • Self-regulation
    • working memory - a fundamental cognitive skill that allows information storage for current use and manipulation of stored information for completion of a given task
    • mental flexibility - the ability to react quickly to changing stimuli or shift between
    • rules according to changing circumstances
    • inhibition - a skill to overcome strong tendencies to react in a particular way to a
    • certain rule and instead react in a manner contrary to the habitual reaction


Social-emotional skills

  • Empathy
    • emotion identification
    • cognitive attribution
  • Trust - interpersonal trust and the capacity to establish trusting relationships
  • Prosocial and non-disruptive behavior
    • prosocial behavior (express and comply)
    • non-disruptive behavior
Contextual or background framework

Children’s individual characteristics

  • Date of birth
  • Exact age of each child at the time of the assessment
  • Gender
  • Whether the child has faced any issues or difficulties
    • low birthweight or premature birth conditions
    • hearing difficulties
    • vision difficulties
    • mobility difficulties
    • learning difficulties
    • social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties


Family background

  • Household composition
  • Immigration background
  • Language(s) spoken at home
  • Parents’ age
  • Family’s socio-economic status, based on
    • parents’ education levels
    • parental employment situation
    • household income


Children’s home learning environment

  • Parents’ frequency of engaging in informal activities with their children such as
    • reading books
    • imaginative play
    • music and painting
    • activities focusing more intentionally on numeracy, language, and literacy
  • Children’s participation in activities outside the home, such as in
    • sports
    • other community-based groups
  • Access to children’s books
  • Access to digital devices 
    • child’s access to digital devices
    • frequency of screen time


Participation in ECEC

  • Child’s previous ECEC attendance, if applicable, including
    • type of care
    • duration and intensity
  • Other forms of care previously received, if applicable