Improving Oral Reading Skills to Enhance Reading Comprehension

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Topic: Education
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Abstract

Background. The significance of oral skills in acquiring the corresponding reading abilities can hardly be overrated. Because of the need to identify the aural signals with the visual ones and at the same time connect them to the connotation of a word, students need the teacher’s support as far as the enhancement of their reading skills is concerned.

Purpose. The key goal of the study is to identify the connection between oral reading skills and the students’ ability to understand the text that they read. Additionally, the means of enhancing the process of reading comprehension through promoting oral reading activities will be considered in the study.

Methods. The research can be defined as qualitative, as there is no particular need to quantify the study results. Particularly, the relation between the variables such as the students’ reading skills and their understanding the text deserve to be mentioned. Phenomenology will be used as the basis for the study results evaluation.

Expected Outcomes. It is assumed that the study will reveal that there are strong ties between the oral reading skills and the students’ ability to comprehend written discourses. Moreover, the strategies such as scaffolding and peer assessment are considered to be crucial in reinforcing the acquisition of the skills in question.

Chapter I

Purpose

There is no need to stress that some students may experience considerable issues in the course of learning to read. The purpose of the study, therefore, is to both locate the links between the key variables, proving that there is a strong connection between them, and to identify the possible solutions that may help address the problem.

Needs Assessment

A closer look at a typical classroom setting will reveal that a teacher has to apply the strategy that will allow for recognizing the classroom diversity (Munger & Campbell, 2007). The latter may concern the students’ need for self-identification, learning and acquiring new experiences in terms of communication and academic life.

Setting

The study was carried out in a rather calm and relaxed setting of the Village Green Environmental Studies School. The latter can be characterized by the strategy that presupposes deployment of advanced technology and the integration of innovative teaching techniques.

Writer’s Role

The role of the writer in the specified scenario concerns the analysis of the suggested scenario, the identification and further study of the existing resources and the location of the avenues, which could be viewed as the possible solutions of the issue under analysis.

Target Populations

The students, whose skills are to be assessed continuously in the course of the study, are represented by children from 8 to 11 years old for the most part.

Discrepancy Statement

In the course of their first assessment, the students in the specified group scored the average of 74% out of 100%. the next reading assessment, which was carried out two weeks later, showed that there was a certain positive rend in the students’ development as readers, the group landing at the mark of 78%.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the study concerns identifying the key obstacles that students face when developing reading skills, as well as searching for the means of eliminating these obstacles.

Possible Causal Factors

Among the key factors that may inhibit students’ ability to understand what they are reading, the inability to process two types of information (i.e., the visual and the audio one) simultaneously deserves to be mentioned.

Goal and Outcome Objectives

Locating the tools that will help learners improve their reading skills is the basic objective of the study. Additionally, the tools for improving a teacher–student feedback system will have to be identified.

Chapter II: Literature Review

A range of studies indicate that students may have certain problems when attempting to learn to read without being able to comprehend the meaning of the text (Gavrilenko & Birukova, 2015). Particularly, a recent research claims that the development of the reading skills such as fluency and accuracy are linked closely to the process of reading comprehension (Brown & Broemmel, 2011).

It should be borne in mind, though, that the claim under analysis is only true in specific scenarios and for a specific age group (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2012).

Specifically, the correlation between the reading comprehension process and the development of the corresponding skills can be observed among the first-grade students and not the second-grade ones: “Results showed that list reading fluency was uniquely related to reading comprehension in grade one, but not in grade two after accounting for text reading fluency (oral or silent) and listening comprehension” (Kim, Wagner, & Lopez, 2012, p. 1).

It is, therefore, essential for a teacher to manage to locate the point, at which students need to acquire the corresponding skills and provide the learners with the information and the tools that they require in order to develop the required abilities and become fast learners (Stern, 2007).

It is crucial that the development of the skills, which allow students to comprehend the meaning of the discourse that they read, are associated with not only the visual information, such as the symbols, which the letters of the alphabet are (Tafti, 2014) but also the phonetic representation of each symbol in question (Aladeyomi & Adejumo, 2015).

Therefore, students have to face a twofold task when they learn to read. Additionally, there is a consistent necessity to correlate the phonetic image of a word, as well as its visual structure, with a specific object, phenomenon or concept, i.e., its denotation.

For these purposes, reading interventions are typically designed. For instance, the students that may have a reading problem may possibly benefit from receiving support from the teacher in the course of the lesson. At this point, the significance of scaffolding deserves to be mentioned.

Additionally, it can be assumed that students are not motivated enough to acquire new skills and learn new words fast enough.

Therefore, a specific intervention is required; based on the support of not only the teacher, but also peers, the tool known as peer assessment will help improve the reading skills of learners significantly. Recent studies also point to the significance of silent reading in the specified scenario (Reutzel, Petscher, & Spichtig, 2015).

However, the importance of team effort should also taken into account; as soon as one of the students is capable of attaining the expected results, the learner in question may become the teacher for the peers, therefore, providing peer assessment that the fellow students will understand and setting the standards that the rest of the learners will be able to meet (Aladeyomi & Adejumo, 2015).

Chapter III: Implementation

The study will be carried out in the form of a combination of an experiment and general research. Particularly, the participants aged 7–8 will be split into two groups (group A and Group B), the first one being taught reading in a traditional manner, whereas the second one will be provided with the teacher’s scaffolding assistance.

Additionally, the students in the second group will be suggested to assess each other’s tests based on a rather basic and very simple grading scale developed specifically for this purpose. Two set of tests will be conducted; the former one will be delivered to the students prior to the experiment, whereas the second one will be administered to each of the groups afterwards (American Psychological Association, 2010).

As soon as the tests are completed, a statistical analysis of the two evaluations will be conducted in order to identify the differences in the performance rates among the members of the two groups. As far as the second part of the research is concerned, it will be carried out as a general research, with the evaluation of the latest research papers on the subject matter.

Chapter IV: Evaluation Plan

The outcomes of the experiment will be evaluated with the help of a set of criteria for the performance quality of learners. Particularly, for the hypothesis of the study to be proven, the students in Group B will have to display a significant progress as opposed to the learners in Group A.

Though a minor variance may occur in the specified setting, it will be required that the difference between the average score of the students in the two groups in question should differ significantly.

The evaluation will consist of several stages. Particularly, the variance and the standard deviation in the aspects such as reading speed and the ability of the learners to comprehend the text that they have read will be estimated. As far as the speed of reading is concerned, the number of words per minute will be considered the key evaluation parameter. The comprehension aspect, in its turn, will be evaluated by asking students a series of questions on the topic in the form of a quiz. The quiz will include seven multiple-choice questions and provide students with three options to choose from for each question.

The tests, each presupposing that the students should deal with a unique text each time, will be administered to the target groups and assessed based on the correctness of the factual information that the students retrieved from reading the texts. In the course of the evaluation, the standard deviation and the variance of their answers will be calculated and compared to the ones that they displayed in the course of the previous assessment.

The evaluation of the strategy chosen for improving their reading and comprehension skills will be assessed on the basis of the change in their performance. The tests will supposedly help both identify the effects of the specified strategy and inform a teacher on the further steps that will need to be taken to improve the learners’ skills.

Each test will consist of a small text that the students will be suggested to read. After learners get themselves acquainted with the text, the latter will no longer be available to them, and they will be offered a set of questions concerning the information presented instead. The questions will address aspects of text such as names of the key characters, etc.

Chapter V: Conclusion

Although the connection between oral reading skills and the actual comprehension of the text may be seen as rather loose, the link between the mechanical processes related to reading and the identification of the connotation and denotation components of the words’ meaning are, in fact, quite tangible.

The study in question is aimed at proving that the links are palpable, as well as the fact that specific strategies such as scaffolding and peer assessment will help improve the learners’ reading skills significantly. Therefore, the above-mentioned approaches will create premises for a faster acquisition of data and its enhanced analysis.

It is expected, therefore, that the study will allow for designing new tools for addressing the issue in question. Particularly, the methods such as scaffolding and peer assessment will be evaluated as possible avenues for improving students’ perception of the actual meaning of the text. Additionally, the idea of integrating the latest technological advances as the tools for shaping students’ experience and helping them improve their reading skills will be considered.

Because of the need to incorporate both aural and visual information into the analysis, as well as embrace the visual elements, the audio, and the connotation of the words, students need assistance in learning to read. Acquiring reading skills means learning to understand the text; it is only with the understanding of the context that the process of metacognition may occur. In order to teach students proper skills for information acquisition and analysis, a teacher must integrate innovative technology, an original approach and the tools for enhancing students’ motivation.

Reference List

Aladeyomi, S. A., & Adejumo, A. (2015). Reading comprehension through the didactic prism. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 5(3), 191–195.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Brown, C. L., & Broemmel, P. (2011). Deep scaffolding: Enhancing the reading experiences of English language learners. The NERA Journal, 46(2), 34–39.

Gavrilenko, N. & Birukova, Y. (2015). Specific features to train scientific-technical texts reading. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 17(1), 96–109.

Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. (2012). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Kim, Y.-S., Wagner, R. K., & Lopez, D. (2012). Developmental relations between reading fluency and reading comprehension: A longitudinal study from grade one to two. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113(1), 1–29.

Munger, D., & Campbell, S. (2007). What every student should know about … researching online. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Reutzel, D. R., Petscher, Y., & Spichtig, A. (2015). Exploring the added value of a guided silent reading intervention: Effects on struggling third-grade readers’ achievement. In E. H. Hiebert, Teaching stamina and silent reading in the digital-global age (121–146). Santa Cruz, California: TechProject, Inc.

Stern, L. (2007). What every student should know about …avoiding plagiarism. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Tafti, A. (2014). Acknowledging the difference: Lessons from differentiated instruction, multiple intelligences, and visual-spatial learning theories for students with learning disabilities. Applied Psychology, 6(1), 1-10.