Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Education and Human Development
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between rates of reading and achieved reading comprehension using the Durrell oral and silent reading scores which are based on the time it takes a child to read a selection and the actual achieved level of comprehension as arrived at by the Stanford Achievement Test. Statistical evaluations were done regarding: reading rate and comprehension achievement of 4th- and 5th-grade poor readers. Ways in which understanding of printed matter is determined were also studied. The investigation examined whether free recall of material was more effective than recall elicited by questioning and whether maturity of the reader made a difference in which method was more productive.
Overall findings pointed to the fact that within the context of this investigation, there was no difference between rate of reading of poor readers and their comprehension of printed matter. Neither did there appear to be a difference between their oral and silent reading rates. Poor readers did not seem to be aided by one method of information retrieval over another, and time did not appear to effect the dependence on either questions or spontaneous recall in comprehension.
One interesting sidelight of this investigation showed that there was a significant increase in total comprehension over a period of three years when remedial help had been given. This gives evidence in support of continued remedial help over a period of years.
The children in this study may have had poor word recognition skills which could account for their seemingly low rate of reading. Their achievement was low so they were below the general level of
4th-grade reading achievement where speed begins to pick up according to the research.
It was found, however, that there was a difference in the amount comprehended over a period of three years indicating that maturity and/or remedial help might be a factor.
This study did not find any difference between oral and silent reading rates of poor readers. In view of this finding that poor readers in the 4th and 5th grades do not read faster silently as the research has found to be the case for average readers in those grades, allowance must be made when assigning silent reading tasks for these children.
Fisk, Elinor W., "The Importance of Reading Rate" (1976). Education and Human Development Master's Theses. 699.