• A Study of the Effect of Baroque Classical Music on Pre-First Graders’ Performance on a Group Reading Test

      Smith, Arthur; McMahon, Carol M.; The College at Brockport (1993-12-01)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if the playing of Baroque Classical music during the administration of a group reading test would affect the performance of Pre-first graders on the test. Statistical analysis of control and experimental reading scores of Pre-first graders on the Gates-MacGinite Reading Test revealed the following results. The playing of Baroque Classical music during testing did not significantly affect reading scores. Although no statistically significant change in reading achievement occurred, a trend towards improvement was apparent. This trend was evidenced by an overall increase in stanine score among the students. Small sample size and a sample not indicative of the general population were limiting factors of this study. Further investigation in this area is warranted.
    • Referential Anaphoric Expressions in Three Tie Locations and their Relationship to Reading Achievement of Eighth Grade Students

      Smith, Arthur; Medley, Mary Ann; The College at Brockport (1982-05-01)
      The purpose of this study was to examine eighth grade subjects' abilities to resolve three types of referential anaphoric expressions across three different tie locations in expository discourse and to determine if the ability to resolve referential anaphoric expressions is significantly related to reading comprehension as measured by either a product-oriented or process-oriented test of reading achievement. One of the chief means of creating cohesion within a text is through the use of anaphoric expressions which refer a reader back to concepts developed previously. Research at the elementary level has led a number of investigators to conclude that elementary children do not adequately comprehend anaphoric expressions. Other researchers have found that difficulty with pronominal referents extends into the junior-high-school range. An anaphoric resolution test was developed by the investigator in which each of three types of referential anaphoric expressions were crossed with each of three tie locations, according to classifications established by Halliday and Hasan (1976). A two-way analysis of variance was used to provide insight into the influence that these factors have on the ability of eighth grade subjects to resolve referential anaphora. Scores from this instrument were then correlated with the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level E, a product-oriented measure of reading achievement, and the New York State Preliminary Competency Test in Reading, a process-oriented measure of reading achievement It was found that the type of referential anaphoric expression did not make a significant difference in their resolution and that there was no significant interaction between the type of referential anaphoric expression and the tie location of the presupposed items. The tie location, however, did make a significant difference in the subjects' abilities to resolve referential anaphora. Further analysis demonstrated that there were significant differences between the immediate and both mediated and remote tie locations, but no significant difference between mediated and remote tie locations. Correlation coefficients between the anaphoric resolution test and either measure of reading achievement were significant beyond the .01 level of confidence. It was concluded that with average eighth grade subjects the ability to resolve referential anaphoric expressions in expository discourse is dependent to a significant degree upon the tie locations of the presupposed items when the presuppositions are nouns or noun phrases mentioned explicitly in the discourse. It was significantly easier for subjects to resolve these anaphoric expressions when their presuppositions were in the immediate tie locations than when they were in either the mediated or remote tie locations. Mean percentages of correct responses were also computed which confirmed results of other studies and led to the conclusion that students in the junior-high-school range also do not adequately comprehend anaphoric expressions. Further research is needed to: (1) establish the causative factor in the relationship between anaphoric resolution ability and reading comprehension, (2) determine if instruction in the resolution of anaphoric expressions would increase students' abilities to resolve them, (3) determine if there is a relationship between the ability to resolve anaphoric expressions and measures of intelligence, and (4) determine if other factors involved in anaphoric resolution ability are also significant. Teachers need to be aware of the difficulty that students have resolving anaphoric expressions and attempt to help them in this area. Authors and publishers of children's reading material, especially basal reader programs and content area textbooks, should be aware of the fact that popular readability formulas do not take anaphoric resolution ability into account. Teachers, as well as authors and publishers, should be constantly alert to new research findings on anaphora.
    • Syntax and Silent Reading Comprehension

      Kimball, Penni N.; The College at Brockport (1975-08-01)
      This study was designed to examine the effect of syntax on the silent reading comprehension of intermediate grade level students. Two test instruments were used for this purpose, the Gates -MacGinitie Reading Test, Survey D and a comprehension test of increasingly complex syntax. Both tests were administered to 101 fifth and sixth-grade students in a suburban elementary school. The results of the Gates -MacGinitie Reading Test were used to determine individual levels of reading achievement. This information was then applied in the AUOVA 3 computer program at the State University College at Brockport to analyze the results of the test of increasingly complex syntax. The results of this study clearly showed that the syntax of a given sentence did significantly influence the silent reading comprehension of intermediate grade level students. As the syntax became progressively more complex in the test sentences, the subjects experienced greater difficulty comprehending those sentences and selecting the correct answers to the test questions. Students would benefit from an application of these findings. By being made aware of the existence of syntax and its function and by being exposed to different structures, the student would be better equipped to read for understanding. Further benefit could be derived by taking the complexity or syntax into account when analyzing the readability of the printed page. In this way, a more accurate measure of difficulty is made possible. Further research remains to be done to examine the comprehension of both individual syntactic structures and combinations of these structures along with a measure of the degree to which the surrounding context influences readability. Different grade levels and populations should be looked at in terms of syntax and its influence on comprehension. Also, teaching materials for strengthening syntactic skills and diagnostic tests have yet to be created.
    • The Use of Simultaneously Guided Television Viewing and Script Reading as a Means of Improving Comprehension and Vocabulary

      Whited, Frances Moroney; Bropst, Connie J.; The College at Brockport (1981-08-01)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of simultaneously guided television viewing and script reading on the comprehension and vocabulary scores of twenty academically weak seventh grade students. A secondary purpose was to determine what change, if any, materialized in the student's attitude toward reading and leisure activities as a result of participation in the program. Twenty students who had obtained a comprehension score at or below the 7.0 reading level on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, and who did not have an apparent physical or mental handicap as indicated by school records, were selected to participate in the eight week program. Seven situation comedy or family drama television programs were selected and manuscripts of each program were prepared by the examiner. The students attended class daily and completed the requirements of each program at the conclusion of five sessions. A significant difference was found between the pre and posttest scores on comprehension. No significant difference was found between the pre and posttest scores on vocabulary, attitude and leisure activities.