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

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing reading comprehension skills in secondary school pupils Dr Sue Stothard Centre for Reading and Language, University of York"— Presentation transcript:

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 1.Assessing reading with YARC-Secondary 2.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 Reading Fluency

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 Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) Level 2 (High Difficulty) Form B Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) Level 2 (High Difficulty) Supplementary Passages (Easy)

8 YARC - Passage Reading Form A Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction Level 2 (High Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction Form B Level 1 (Intermediate Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction Level 2 (High Difficulty) - Fiction + Non-Fiction 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 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,’ 12 th of May, 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 words

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)

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)

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

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

19 Standardisation Sample (N=1230) YearNCASingle Word Reading (max=70) Yr 7 (S1/P8) 26211:08 (10:00-12:08)48.47 ( ) Yr 8 (S2/P9) 25012:08 (11:10-13:07)50.88 ( ) Yr 9 (S3/P10) 25113:07 (11:07-14:09)53.17 ( ) Yr 10 (S4/P11) 23814:08 (14:00-15:08)54.13 ( ) Yr 11 (S5/P12) 22915:07 (14:04-17:05)57.22 ( )

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

21 Rationale behind YARC

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

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

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 Reading103Average Passage Reading (Level 1) Reading Rate108Average Reading Comprehension84Below average SummarisationBelow AverageBelow average Reading Fluency (Level 1)92Average

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 Reading73Severe difficulty Passage Reading (Supplementary) Reading Rate79Severe difficulty Reading AccuracyBelow 70Severe difficulty Reading Comprehension97Average SummarisationAverage Reading Fluency (Level 1)Below 70Severe difficulty

29 MispronunciationsSubstitutionsRefusalsAdditionsOmissionsReversalsTotal MispronunciationsSubstitutionsRefusalsAdditionsOmissionsReversalsTotal Lucy – Analysis of Reading Errors Supplementary 1 Supplementary 2 standing -> staying, glanced -> glazed, realised -> resized, had -> was 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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