The influence of sustaining feedback on the oral reading performance of low ability readers

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The effects of teacher feedback on the reader's performance during oral reading have not been clearly delineated. This study was designed to investigate how two features of sustaining teacher feedback, type (graphophonemic and semantic) and timing (immediate and delayed) influence word recognition and comprehension for low ability second-grade readers.

A sample of 9 low ability second-grade readers were selected and randomly assigned to one of 3 treatment sequence conditions. Each group received graphophonemic immediate prompts (The teacher immediately calls the readers attention to the deviation by pointing to the word and prompting, "Look closely at the letters in the word."); graphophonemic delayed prompts (The teacher prompts as above but after the reader has completed reading the sentence or a complete thought within a complex sentence.); and semantic delayed prompts (The teacher prompts the reader by asking, "Does that make sense?" after the reader has completed reading the sentence). A single—subject format (eg. A B A C A D A) was incorporated by using a Latin Square design for presenting the three treatment conditions to all three groups. On each of the twenty-three days the students orally read a different passage. Each treatment condition was conducted for approximately five fifteen minute reading sessions over a three week period. The four baselines had two sessions each. The dependent measures were literal comprehension and qualitative dimensions of word recognition, graphic similarity, semantic acceptability, and self-corrections.

Results indicated that the treatments did not differentially affect the graphic similarity of the readers' responses, although the semantic delayed condition did encourage responses which were higher in semantic acceptability. In addition, the semantic delayed conditions influenced comprehension more positively than did the other conditions.