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Assessing reading comprehension skills in secondary school pupils

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1 Assessing reading comprehension skills in secondary school pupils
Dr Sue Stothard Centre for Reading and Language, University of York 15 June 2010

2 Outline of Presentation
Assessing reading with YARC-Secondary Illustrative Case Studies

3 York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension Secondary Test (YARC-Secondary)

4 YARC-Secondary Reading Test
Contents Single Word Reading Passage Reading Reading Comprehension Reading Fluency Dr Sue Stothard

5 YARC - Single Word Reading 70 item test
see look play scream journey suppose excitable dehydration persuade lacerate bureaucracy endogenous

6 YARC - Passage Reading Main test - Two Parallel Forms: Form A Form B
Supplementary Passages Poor readers

7 YARC - Passage Reading Form A Form B Supplementary Passages (Easy)
Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) Level 2 (High Difficulty) Form B Supplementary Passages (Easy)

8 YARC - Passage Reading Form A Form B Supplementary Passages (Easy)
Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction Level 2 (High Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction Form B Supplementary Passages (Easy) Fiction + Non-Fiction (YARC Primary)

9 Form A & B Passages – Silent Reading
Supplementary Passages – Oral Reading (classification of reading errors)

10 Extract from Level 1.2A (Non-Fiction)
Honey for You, Honey for Me In Southern Africa there is a bird called the Honey Guide. It is a small bird with a long pink beak. Its favourite food is honey. From a distance, the honey-guide looks drab and brown, but up close you can see a splash of pale yellow on the white chest feathers. It looks a little as if the bird has just enjoyed a meal of golden honey, and been none too careful about its table manners! However, the Honey Guide gets its name not just from the colour of its chest; it is very well adapted to feeding on the contents of bee hives. It doesn’t just eat the honey, but also bee eggs, larvae, pupae and even beeswax. In fact, they are one of only a handful of birds that can digest wax. The Honey Guide is what you might call a bee specialist....  471 words

11 Extract from Level 2.1A (Fiction)
On the Way to the New World Travelogue of Second-in-Command William Carewall, aboard the vessel ‘Phoenix,’ 12th of May, 1615. The crew were much surprised today, on approaching the vicinities of the New World, at encountering an Indian at sea. Passing by a nearby island, shortly before reaching the main continent, we crossed paths with an authentic American Indian busy fishing on a small boat. Since we knew such practice to be extremely unusual among natives, we questioned him further. ‘I have been exiled from my tribe,’ he replied, in a rather neutral tone. ‘Now I live on this island, with fishing as my sole pursuit...’ 395 words

12 Extract from Supplementary 1 (Fiction)
Missing Handbag It was the first day of Ryan’s family holiday. They were staying in a cottage which overlooked the harbour in Peele Bay. It was a glorious sunny day, so the family had wandered down to the beach. Dad volunteered to look after their bags. Mum explored the beach, then joined Ryan and his sister in the foaming waves. Dad relaxed and read his magazine. When mum had had enough of the water, she returned to sit with dad. He had fallen asleep and was scarlet. She glanced around and realised her handbag was missing. It must have been stolen.... 157 words Dr Sue Stothard

13 Examples of different question types
1.2A Q6. Why are bee stings so dangerous to the Honey Guide? (Literal) 1.1A Q2. How do you think Norman feels about the summer holidays? (Evaluative Inference) 1.1A Q13. What do you think Norman will do next September? (Predictive Inference) 2.1 A Q6. Why did Mr. Levine offer the Indian gold? (Knowledge-Based Inference) 1.1B Q9. In the last paragraph, the author writes ‘soon the light began to fade’. What do you think he means? (Figurative Language) 2.2A Q11. In Paragraph 4, what does ‘commission’ mean? (Vocabulary) Q14. Can you give a short summary of this passage, making clear what the main events are? (Summarisation) Dr Sue Stothard

14 Passage Reading - Assessing Reading Skills
1. Reading Rate Time taken to read the passage 2. Reading Comprehension 13 Comprehension Qs per passage Inferential (Elaborative, Knowledge-Based, Evaluative, Predictive), Literal, Vocabulary & Figurative Language Qs 3. Summarisation Skills 4. Reading Accuracy (Supplementary Passages only) Dr Sue Stothard

15 YARC – Reading Fluency Fluency Level 1 Level 2 Oral Reading
Reading Rate – Number of words read correctly per second

16 Test Norms Standard Scores, Percentile Scores Reading Ages for:
Reading Comprehension Reading Fluency Reading Accuracy (single word reading) Reading Accuracy (prose reading – poor readers) Summarisation – 5 performance bands: Low, Below Average, Average, Above Average, High Dr Sue Stothard

17 Standard Scores Range: 70 to 130 Average = 100 (85-115)
Severe Difficulty – below 80

18 Some observations about reading skills in Secondary School students
Dr Sue Stothard

19 Standardisation Sample (N=1230)
Year N CA Single Word Reading (max=70) Yr 7 (S1/P8) 262 11:08 (10:00-12:08) ( ) Yr 8 (S2/P9) 250 12:08 (11:10-13:07) ( ) Yr 9 (S3/P10) 251 13:07 (11:07-14:09) ( ) Yr 10 (S4/P11) 238 14:08 (14:00-15:08) ( ) Yr 11 (S5/P12) 229 15:07 (14:04-17:05) ( )

20 Standardisation Sample (N=1230)
Year N Single Word Reading (max=70) SWRT 6-16 Reading Age Yr 7 (S1/P8) 262 ( ) 6:05 – 16+ Yr 8 (S2/P9) 250 ( ) Yr 9 (S3/P10) 251 ( ) 7:00 – 16+ Yr 10 (S4/P11) 238 ( ) 6:09 – 16+ Yr 11 (S5/P12) 229 ( ) SWRT 6-16 = Single Word Reading Test

21 Rationale behind YARC

22 Generally poor reading
The Simple View of Reading (after Gough & Tunmer, 1986) Poor decoding (Dyslexia) Normal reading Generally poor reading Poor comprehension + Listening comprehension + - Decoding -

23 Using YARC-Secondary Passage Reading to assess students with reading difficulties
Case Studies Dr Sue Stothard

24 Case 1 Maya 11 years 1 month Year 7 English - second language
No formal recognition of reading difficulties YARC – Screening programme

25 Maya (11;01) Standard Score Single Word Reading 103 Average
Passage Reading (Level 1) Reading Rate 108 Reading Comprehension 84 Below average Summarisation Below Average Reading Fluency (Level 1) 92

26 Maya: ‘Poor Comprehender’ Profile
Difficulties: Making inferences, vocabulary, identifying main points Strengths: Decoding skills Recommendations: Additional support with comprehension Further assessment of language skills Monitoring

27 Case 2 Lucy 14 years 5 months Year 10 SEN Register (no statement)

28 Lucy (14:05) Standard Score Single Word Reading 73 Severe difficulty
Passage Reading (Supplementary) Reading Rate 79 Reading Accuracy Below 70 Reading Comprehension 97 Average Summarisation Reading Fluency (Level 1)

29 Lucy – Analysis of Reading Errors
Supplementary 1 Mispronunciations Substitutions Refusals Additions Omissions Reversals Total 5 1 7 standing -> staying, glanced -> glazed, realised -> resized, had -> was Supplementary 2 Mispronunciations Substitutions Refusals Additions Omissions Reversals Total 2 17 1 22 sometimes -> something, leaving -> laying, collect -> correct, form -> from, purpose -> person

30 Lucy: ‘Dyslexic’ Profile
Difficulties: Decoding Strengths: Reading comprehension Recommendations: Specialist reading intervention Additional time in GCSE examinations

31 Summing up Recommended uses for YARC:
to assess and monitor pupil progress to identify reading problems to assess eligibility for access arrangements to provide diagnostic information in order to plan educational management

32 Thanks to: Charles Hulme, Paula Clarke, Patrick Barmby & Maggie Snowling Kate Nation, Lynne Duncan, Marie Jones, Helen Whiteley, Becky Larkin, Yvonne Griffiths, Sarah Logan, Emma Truelove & Geraldine Collins The teachers and students who assisted with this project

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