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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Establishment of a revised word recognition accuracy and oral comprehension criteria for the instructional level of the informal reading inventory McKinlay, David Carswell


The main purpose of this study was to empirically establish criteria for the instructional level of an Informal Reading Inventory using oral sight reading. A secondary purpose was to investigate the relationship between oral word recognition, oral reading comprehension and silent reading comprehension on an I.R.I. One hundred and twenty children were administered an Informal Reading Inventory in grades one through six. Twenty children in each of the six grades were randomly selected in a school that can be described as being populated by middle class children. A 60 percent minimum was chosen in this thesis for oral reading comprehension. Each pupil's inventory was examined and the graded oral reading passage that had the greatest number of word recognition errors within this 60 percent minimum was the one used for future computations. In the primary grades 60 percent comprehension was associated with 89 percent word recognition accuracy; and in the intermediate grades 60 percent comprehension was associated with 97 percent word recognition accuracy. Additionally, an unexpected finding was that the average silent reading comprehension percentage at all grades was statistically significantly lower than the average oral comprehension percent. A multiple regression analysis conducted between word recognition accuracy, oral reading comprehension and silent reading comprehension and silent reading comprehension indicated that the R² of .049 was not significant when all grades one through six were combined. The first conclusion was that with the exception of Word Recognition Accuracy for the intermediate grades the traditional criteria presented by Betts and Killgallon and many subsequent investigators underestimated a pupil's reading ability. Second, it was hypothesized by this investigator that perhaps there might be an overemphasis on oral reading as the pupil progresses into the intermediate grades which may in fact be interfering with his silent reading. Such an hypothesis of course could only be validated through further research. Third, that by knowing word recognition accuracy and oral comprehension, one could not accurately predict silent reading performance. It was therefore concluded that silent reading should be included as a necessary component of the I.R.I, for grades one through six.

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