Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Evaluation of Reading Performances of Students with Reading Problems for the Risk of Learning Disabilities

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Evaluation of Reading Performances of Students with Reading Problems for the Risk of Learning Disabilities

Article excerpt

Abstract

In this study, the frequency of third grade students who have not acquired the grade level reading skills were examined and their reading skills were evaluated in terms of the risk for having learning disabilities. The study was carried out with 112 students in 38 classrooms. Teachers were asked to list the students with reading problems in their classrooms. Identified students were asked to read a grade level text. Students' reading fluency and accuracy were analyzed. Students in the study were assigned to one of the reading levels (frustration, instruction, and independent) based on the number of words read correctly in the text. Results showed that about 13% of students in participating classrooms were reported to have difficulty in reading. Reading fluency rates in all three reading levels were much lower than the reading fluency norms identified for third graders. Syllable repetition and incorrect reading were the most frequently made reading errors. Reading performances of participating students suggest that their reading difficulties are more likely resulted from the underlying learning disabilities. Limitations and implications for practice are discussed.

Key Words

Reading Problems, Risk Group, Learning Disabilities.

Reading difficulties are the most frequent learning problem among students and the main reason for academic failure (Chall, 1996; Dickinson & McCabe, 2001; Kuhn & Stahl, 2004; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003). In a study conducted in the US to examine academic achievement of 4th grade students, it was found that 34% of students had reading difficulties and their reading performance fell behind their peers (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2007). Longitudinal studies have shown that reading problems of students with reading difficulties continue throughout the school years (Dickinson & McCabe). Juel (1988), in a longitudinal study, found that 88% of students who are poor readers at the end of first grade remain poor readers in fourth grade. Cunningham and Stanovich (1997) who followed students from first grade through 11th grade determined that students' oral reading rate in first grade strongly predicts students' reading comprehension and vocabulary in 11th grade. Snow, Burns and Griffin (1998) found that 75% of students who experience reading problems in second grade continue to experience reading problems and fall behind their peers in fifth grade. In a study conducted by Babayigit and Sainthorp (2010) it was found that children who are slow readers in first grade continue to be slow readers in second grade and make greater number of reading errors compared to their peers.

Students with reading difficulties are often diagnosed with learning disabilities (Miller, 1993; Stanford & Oakland, 2000). Learning disability is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations (Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes, & Lipsey, 2000; Hamilton & Shinn, 2003; Stanford & Oakland, 2000). It is indicated that 10-15% of school age children have learning disabilities (Sundheim & Voeller, 2004). It is seen 68-80% more in boys than girls (Bingöl, 2003; Flannery, Liederman, Daly, & Schultz, 2000; Gökçe- Saripinar & Erden, 2010; Korkmazlar, 1992; Lerner, 2000; Razon, 1982; Rutter et al., 2004; Wheldall & Limbrick, 2010). It is a lifelong disability and negatively affects the development of all other developmental and academic areas (Lerner, 2000; Miller, 1993; Temple, 1993). On the other hand, if it is identified early and provided with effective intervention programs, students with learning disabilities can succeed in school and have a successful life (Bond, Tinker, Wasson, & Wasson, 1989; Flowers, Meyer, Lovato, Felton, & Wood, 2001; Hook, Macaruso, & Jones, 2001). …

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