Oral reading errors of eight, nine and ten year olds of high and low reading ability : an analysis of their miscue patterns at independent and frustration levels : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Education at Massey University
A review of the Research which has investigated Oral Reading errors, both before and after the contribution of the Psycholinguists, showed that much of the data had been collected at relatively high difficulty levels. It was the purpose of this study to investigate differences in miscue patterns both between Independent and Frustration Reading difficulty levels and amongst groups differentiated by Reading ability, age and sex. The sample used consisted of twenty eight-year-olds, twenty nine-year-olds and twenty ten-year-olds, thirty of whom were of each sex and thirty of whom were of High Reading ability and thirty of whom were of low Reading ability. Five of the subjects were low ability Readers who had scored highly on the PAT Listening Comprehension Test. Miscues were collected from each subject at both their Independent and Frustration Reading levels and classified by using an amended form of Goodman and Burkes Reading Miscue Inventory. The miscue patterns obtained were then compared both between levels and amongst groups by using the SPSS programme of the Burroughs B6700 Computer at Massey University. Significant differences were found between miscue patterns at Independent and Frustration level and this has serious implications for the interpreting of the accumulated miscue research. Significant differences were also found amongst the various groups. High ability Readers were found to make greater use of the Syntactic and Grapho-Phonic cueing systems, and relatively less use of the Semantic Cueing system, at both levels, then were the low ability Readers. At Independent Level the high ability Readers made greatest use of the Syntactic cueing system but at Frustration Level usage of the Grapho-Phonic cueing system marginally replaced the Syntactic cueing system as the one upon which he placed most reliance. For low ability Readers this increased dependence on the Grapho-Phonic cueing system at Frustration level is not evident, and this suggests that high ability Readers have a more highly organized and integrated method of utilising the cues available than do low ability Readers. Rather,low ability Readers appear to utilize the cueing systems in a non-sequential, non-preferential, almost random manner. Girls appear to utilise the Semantic cueing system to a greater extent than do boys and developmental trends over the age groups used in the study illustrate the Readers developing ability to utilise the cueing systems in an integrated manner. Subjects of low Reading ability who had scored highly on the PAT Listening Comprehension Test utilised all three cueing systems less efficiently than did the other low ability Readers. Self-correction rates were found to be a function of the difficulty level of the material being read rather than a reflection of mastery of a trainable skill which differs quantitatively between high and low ability Readers. It is concluded that the analysis of Oral Reading Errors is a vital source of information for the Reading teacher or diagnostician and a recommended procedure for carrying out such analysis is outlined.