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The Effects of a Reader Immersion Procedure On the Technical Reading Skills of Kindergarten and First Grade Students

Mackey, Michelle

I conducted 2 experiments in which I tested the effects of a reader immersion procedure on the technical reading comprehension responses to print stimuli for 4 kindergarten students and 3 first grade students. The participants selected for this study textually responded to words at a rate of 80 words correct per minute with 0 incorrect words per minute. They demonstrated early reader repertoires and speaker-as-own listener verbal capablities including incidental language learning (also referred to as Naming), self-talk, and say-do correspondence, all neccesary prerequisites for a child to acquire reader-as-own listener capabilities. However, they were not yet verbally governed by print to complete simple tasks as demonstrated by their performance on “read and build” and “read and draw” reading comprehension tasks. In the 1st experiment, the dependent variables were technical reading tasks that included 1) a 10-step “read and build” task and 2) a 10-step “read and draw” task. During pre-intervention and post-intervention probe assessments, each participant was given a list of 10 written directions and the corresponding materials required to complete the tasks. The independent variable was a reader immersion procedure in which the “need to read” was established by providing access to a preferred item after the emission of correct reading-governed (i.e., read and do) responses. Following the reader immersion procedure, responses to novel reading comprehension responses increased for the participants. The particpants’ behavior was controlled by print stimuli to complete simple reading tasks in which they had to build a structure or reproduce an image with a writing implement. In the 2nd experiment, 4 participants received the 10-step pre-intevention probe assessments used in Experiment 1 along with 2 additonal pre and post-intervention probes in which they completed a 1) 20-step “read and build” task and 2) a 20-step “read and draw task.” The independent variable was the reader immersion procedure used in Experiment 1. Following the reader immersion procedure, responses to novel reading comprehension tasks increased for all dependent variables. Findings suggest that untaught reading comprehension responses emerged as a function of the reader immersion procedure which included a motivating operation as well as repeated opportunities to mediate behavior in response to print stimuli. I describe technical reading as a verbally governed response to print that is a necessary prerequisite to the advanced reader and writer repertoires that will result in success in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields of study.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, Robert D
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 20, 2017