Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Effects of Systematic Error Correction and Repeated Readings on the Reading Accuracy and Proficiency of Second Graders with Disabilities

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Effects of Systematic Error Correction and Repeated Readings on the Reading Accuracy and Proficiency of Second Graders with Disabilities

Article excerpt


This investigation used a multiple-baseline design to examine the effects of systematic error correction and of systematic error correction with repeated readings on the reading accuracy and fluency of four second-graders receiving special education services in a resource room. Three of the students were identified as having learning disabilities, and one student was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In the error correction condition, students received systematic feedback for each miscued word during oral reading. During the error correction plus repeated readings condition, the students participated in three one-minute timings of the reading passage following error correction procedures. Results during the error correction condition indicated that there was a minimal increase in the number of words read correctly per minute, however all four students reduced the number of reading errors per minute. When repeated readings were implemented in conjunction with the error correction procedures, evidence of a functional relationship was demonstrated for all four students in terms of their reading accuracy and proficiency.


On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). This legislation is based on four basic principles: increased accountability for results, more control at the local level, more options for parents, and an emphasis on proven teaching methods. In particular, the NCLB Act of 2001 sets a goal of every child reading at or above grade level by the end of the third grade, and emphasizes the importance of reading programs that are consistent with "scientifically based reading research" to reach that goal (U.S. Department of Education, 2002).

Attaining the goal of on-grade reading performance may be especially difficult for children with learning disabilities because about 80 percent of such children have deficits in reading (Lerner, 1997). Even when compared to the reading performance of children who are low achieving but do not have disabilities, children with learning disabilities lag considerably behind (Fuchs, Fuchs, Yen, et al., 2001). Lacking decoding strategies, these children often read slowly and laboriously, and are overly dependent on context and pictures (Mastropieri, Scruggs, Bakken, & Whedon, 1996). Given these deficits in reading performance, it is especially important for teachers of children with learning disabilities to use methods that have been demonstrated to work.

Methods of teaching reading must not only be effective, but must also be perceived by teachers as feasible. After all, it is the teachers who will implement the method every day if the NCLB Act of 2001 goals are to be reached. Teacher perceptions of feasibility are important in that treatments or teaching techniques not acceptable to consumers (e.g., teachers) will very likely not be implemented (Abbot, Walton, Tapia, & Greenwood, 1999; Greenwood & Abbot, 2001). One factor that appears to influence teachers' perceptions of feasibility is how time-consuming the technique is (Bender, Vail, & Scott, 1995; Gajria, Salend, & Hemrick, 1994; Jayanthi, Epstein, Polloway, & Bursuck, 1996). Therefore, efficiency as well as effectiveness may be an important consideration in the selection of teaching techniques.

Two teaching techniques that meet the dual criteria of efficiency and effectiveness are systematic error correction strategies and repeated readings (Barbetta, Heron, & Heward, 1993; Barbetta, Heward, & Bradley, 1993; Barbetta, Heward, Bradley, & Miller, 1994; Mastropieri, Leinart, & Scruggs, 1999). With respect to error correction strategies, the effectiveness of these strategies was demonstrated by Barbetta and colleagues in a series of studies with primary-aged students with developmental disabilities. …

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