Assessment of Perceptual, Decoding, and Lexical Skills and Their Relations to Reading Proficiency.
Technical rept. no. 1, 1 Dec 76-1 Jan 78,
BOLT BERANEK AND NEWMAN INC CAMBRIDGE MASS
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This research seeks to develop and validate techniques for measuring perceptual and cognitive skills related to reading proficiency. Studies examine three domains the perceptual, decoding and lexical stages of processing. At the perceptual level, the author studied visual scanning and the encoding of graphemic and supragraphemic units. Using a letter identification task, he found that subjects who were low in overall reading ability scan a visual image more slowly than do readers of high ability, and they are slower in identifying letters when they do not occur in a familiar sequence. To study differences among readers in decoding skills, he selected an oral reading or pronunciation task. Readers differ in both the accuracy and efficiency with which they decode English spelling patterns, particularly when the patterns to be decoded are unfamiliar. A comparison of the effects of structural variations among words and pseudowords on decoding times led us to conclude that low ability readers rely on holistic properties of words -- presumably their visual characteristics -- in recognizing common words. High ability readers tend instead to use their well-developed decoding skills in recognizing words, whether they are common or uncommon.
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