Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading the same as Randeig?

I gave about 100 8th graders two reading exercises--one with real English words and one with scrambled words, except the first and last letter. I was thinking there might be some connection between one's ability with English and with scrambled words. I conjectured that struggling readers would be more unlikely to 'decode' the scrambled words.

I had visions of stunning Education journal publications. I would be heralded through every Education school between Tacoma and Parkland. Alas, I'm afraid it's not to be.

Almost every student seemed reasonably able to read the scrambled text. I had figured the "Cambridge University study" was a ruse. Either it was fake, or they got it way wrong--more like 85 per cent of my students could read the jumbled text. (I gave them comprehension questions for both readings, and I asked some students to read the scrambled text aloud. Very few flat out gave up trying. Most did reasonably well, actually.)

I still do wonder what this says about the emphasis on phonic decoding though.

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