THE EFFECTS OF PASSAGE LENGTH AND READING MODE ON RETELLINGS AND QUESTION RESPONSES OF SIXTH GRADE CHILDREN
AuthorGrant, Norma, Louise
AdvisorAmes, William S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate differences in oral and silent reading comprehension performance with passages of varying length through the use of both a questioning and a retelling format. In analyzing reading comprehension performance scores, answers were sought for the following questions: (1) What differences between oral and silent reading comprehension performance can be identified with passages of varying length when question responses are the measure of comprehension? (2) What differences between oral and silent reading comprehension performance can be identified with passages of varying length when retelling scores are the measure of comprehension? (3) In either oral or silent reading, to what extent is the information sought by means of traditional questions supplied by the reader during a retelling activity? To answer these questions, 80 sixth grade students from one public school located in a southwestern metropolitan area were randomly assigned to eight treatment groups. Subjects were of average ability as measured by a standardized test of silent reading achievement. A story with a sixth grade readability level was considered the long passage. The first portion of this same story was considered the short passage. All subjects completed an experimenter constructed instrument designed to reveal preferences for oral or silent reading in various situations. The 40 subjects randomly assigned to the question treatment groups read the assigned passage, either long or short, in the assigned mode of presentation, either oral or silent, and responded to questions asked orally by the experimenter. The 40 subjects randomly assigned to the retelling treatment groups also read the assigned passage in the assigned mode of presentation and retold the story to the experimenter. Open-ended questions were asked by the experimenter in order to elicit additional information. Following the retelling, the questions used with the question treatment groups were asked of the subjects in the retelling treatment groups. Access to the story was not allowed during retelling or questioning. Finally, subjects in the retelling groups were asked to react to various vocabulary items when again shown the story. Findings based on the statistical analysis of the data gathered in this study were as follows: (1) No significant differences were found between oral and silent reading comprehension of long and short passages when either questioning or retelling was the measure of reading comprehension performance. (2) Significant differences were found in performance between the questioning and retelling groups on questioning tasks when scores for the retelling groups were based only on information supplied during spontaneous retelling and open-ended probing. (3) Significant differences were found favoring a preference for silent over oral reading in various reading situations. (4) In the questioning condition, silent reading of passages was significantly faster than oral reading of passages. (5) No significant differences were found in the words per second reading rate for passages in the retelling condition. The findings of this study supported these conclusions: (1) Regardless of mode of comprehension assessment, students are able to perform equally well after reading orally or silently. (2) Varying the length of passages does not affect performance in reading comprehension tasks. (3) Different modes of comprehension assessment do not necessarily yield the same kinds of information about reading ability. (4) Students prefer silent reading as an activity but that preference is not reflected in superior silent reading performance. (5) Students, when aware of the mode of comprehension assessment to be used, may make differential adjustments in their rate of reading.
Degree ProgramGraduate College