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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Crossing the divide : closing the cognitive and affective gaps that prevent successful reading in the upper elementary years Lenters, Kimberly Ann

Abstract

Significant numbers of children experience reading difficulty in the intermediate school years. Inexperience with expository text may partially explain this difficulty. While much of the extant research has focussed on the delivery of effective early interventions, investigation of efficacious practices with intermediate level struggling readers continues to require investigation. A case study that documents a research-based intervention with two struggling intermediate students is presented in this thesis. It explores a methodology that combines decoding and comprehension strategy instruction with fluency training, primarily utilizing expository text from children's popular literature. The strong positive results obtained are thought to be linked to the balancing of skill and strategy instruction with affective considerations. Phonological core deficits appear to have been addressed through oral repeated reading preceded by listening-previewing and accompanied by a "switched-on" self-monitoring for comprehension strategy. The findings suggest harmful effects may occur with some struggling readers from the use of fluency training that employs unengaging text and emphasizes speed over accuracy, expression and construction of meaning.

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