Critical Analysis of a Child's Reading

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Reading is an essential skill in modern society. Not only does it enable people to access information, it provides people with a great deal of pleasure. It is vital that primary schools equip children with effective strategies for reading as well as foster a desire to read that will stay with them throughout their lives. This analysis of reading will firstly give a brief outline of the context of my school placement. It will analyse two pupils as readers and their strategies.

The school’s policy indicates that the context of teaching reading is very important - suggesting a variety of text styles. English & Williamson (2005) inform us that the introduction of the National Literacy Strategy (DfES 2001) broadened the range of texts children are introduced to at primary level. The school is superbly resourced, with thousands of books available to all pupils. Silent reading is also practised daily. X Primary is a larger than average three-form entry primary school with 472 pupils. It’s in an area of average to high socio-economic status and the majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds with few pupils who speak English as an additional language. The number of pupils with learning difficulties is below average. (Ofsted 2010).

Below is an analysis of a child's reading. I will focus on analysing the child's mistakes in reading, called miscues (Hall, 2003) to gain information of the child as a reader.

Pupil A was chosen for assessment as he enjoys reading and is a strong reader. He has had several school moves due to family issues, and has received intervention and support throughout his time at Primary X due to his level of absence. He is eager to learn, and was keen to read for me. The assessment involved analysing his word recognition and comprehension skills. This provides an opportunity to understand how Pupil A as a fairly fluent reader may process a text. The text which was read by Pupil A was chosen as it was unknown to him. It was also chosen as a text that was suitable for his level of reading.

Many of Pupil A's miscues take place in the form of substitution. These miscues often relate to his syntactic knowledge. He reads 'a' instead of 'one' (line 3) and 'but' instead of 'and' (line 8). He also produces the miscue 'even' (line 9) as an insertion. These miscues suggest that he is making predictions about a text using his syntactic knowledge. This suggests that Pupil A brings his own knowledge to a text which causes him to make 'predictions' (Smith cited in Hall, 2003), resulting in a miscue. This suggests that Pupil A uses his syntactic knowledge to obtain meaning in what he reads (Hall, 2003). This miscue can also alter the meaning of the text which may affect his understanding. Pupil A makes the same miscue when he substitutes 'for' for 'from' (Page 2 line 1). He self corrects and asks for reassurance in his correction. Pupil A also corrects himself on the word 'quickly' (Pg 3 line 3). This self-correction reveals that he uses syntactic knowledge to process the text, but also that the text Pupil A sees is different from the text on the page (Goodman cited in Hall, 2003). Goodman suggests that there are two texts in question when reading takes place, being the actual text, and the perceived text.

Pupil A demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the text. He demonstrated an understanding for the organisation of the text and recalled events of the story. Pupil A demonstrated an ability to infer from the text and evaluate it. When questioned, he was able to express that he liked the text and expressed why. He demonstrated emotional or psychological response to the text and characters feelings. This suggests that Pupil A engaged with the text and was interested in the plot.

In conclusion Pupil A demonstrates a clear ability to read fluently and uses different strategies for decoding words. His ability to decode unknown words could be extended by knowledge of consonant...
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