The effects of reading acceleration on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy in high school students with reading disorders.
Carter, Matthew David
Reading disorders have been hypothesized to result from an asynchrony between speed of processing characteristics of auditory and visual systems involved in decoding. It is hypothesized that reading at faster rates can in the reduction of the detrimental effects of this asynchrony. Previous research has revealed that both decoding accuracy and reading comprehension accuracy have improved when individuals are forced to read short passages 10-12% faster than they normally read. However, no investigation to date has systematically examined the influence on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy of proportionally rates d these levels. Furthermore, no study to date has investigated whether the effects of this reading approach continue to be beneficial as passage length increases. For the current investigation, two experiments were designed to investigate the effects of increased reading rates and text lengths on the oral decoding and reading comprehension accuracy of reading disordered individuals. The first study examined the effects of systematically increasing the amount of reading acceleration on oral decoding and comprehension accuracy. Twenty high school students with normal reading abilities and 16 high school students with a diagnosis of a reading disorder completed a series of four oral reading comprehension tasks. The passages were all presented on a computer and the rate of presentation was controlled. Baseline reading rates (words per second) were obtained for each participant. Each participant completed an oral reading task at their baseline rate and with increases of 10, 20, and 30%. Decoding and comprehension accuracy proportions were obtained. Results revealed that decoding accuracy improved above baseline levels when reading 10% faster than the baseline rate. Decoding accuracy did not improve when reading with a 20% or 30% increase in reading rate. The comprehension accuracy proportions obtained by both groups (control and reading disordered) improved when reading with a 10% or 20% increase in reading rate. Thus, the results of Experiment I indicate that high school students may be capable of reading proficiently at rates higher than previously thought. In Experiment II, the effects of text length on decoding and comprehension in an oral reading task were investigated. Experiment II included the same participants as Experiment I. Each participant completed four experimental tasks that represented a combination of the two independent variables: passage length (short or long) and acceleration condition (accelerated or unaccelerated). In regards to decoding, it was found that decoding accuracy did not differ between short and long passages during the unaccelerated condition whereas decoding significantly improved when reading longer passages. These results were interpreted as providing evidence for the possible increased efficiency of working memory during accelerated reading tasks by increasing the amount of resources available for the utilization of top down contextual cues. Results from Experiment II also revealed significant interactions within the reading disordered group relative to comprehension. Specifically, participants with the best reading performance in the 10% increase condition in Experiment I tended to obtain higher comprehension accuracy proportions when reading shorter texts and those who read best at 20 or 30% in Experiment I tended to obtain higher comprehension accuracy proportions when reading longer texts. These results were interpreted as providing evidence for improved utilization of top down contextual cues in accelerated reading tasks. No main effect of group was found. It also was observed that individuals with reading disorders recalled more information when longer passages were presented when the reading rate was accelerated. Furthermore, the individuals with a diagnosis of reading disorder who are more likely to benefit from reading acceleration tend to be those who exhibit the most severe reading profiles. This result suggests that reading acceleration may improve focused attention. In general, the control group was found to exhibit significantly higher comprehension proportions when reading accelerated as well as when reading longer texts. These latter results demonstrate evidence for the beneficial aspects of reading acceleration in oral reading tasks. Overall, results from this investigation exemplify the variable effects of reading acceleration with implication of how this phenomenon may be best utilized clinically. Individuals responded with a wide range of variability as presentation rate and text length varied. However, the results support previous findings indicating that reading acceleration benefits both proficient and deficient readers. Thus, this investigation establishes some parameters that should be considered when determining the best course of treatment for utilizing reading acceleration.
Carter, Matthew David. (January 2012). The effects of reading acceleration on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy in high school students with reading disorders. (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4066.)
Carter, Matthew David. The effects of reading acceleration on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy in high school students with reading disorders.. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, January 2012. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4066. April 24, 2019.
Carter, Matthew David, “The effects of reading acceleration on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy in high school students with reading disorders.” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, January 2012).
Carter, Matthew David. The effects of reading acceleration on reading comprehension and decoding accuracy in high school students with reading disorders. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2012.
East Carolina University