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Training reading fluency in dysfluent readers with high reading accuracy: Word specific effects but low transfer to untrained words

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Abstract

The outcome of a training study attempting to increase German speaking poor readers' reading fluency is reported. The aim of the training was to help children establish orthographic representations for a limited set of training words as well as for high-frequency onset clusters. A sample of 20 dysfluent readers (8-11 years) received a computerized training of repeated reading of a limited set of 32 training words over a period of up to 25 days. Each day training words were presented up to six times with a special emphasis on the onset segment. Post-tests were carried out one and five weeks after the last training day. A considerable decrease in reading times could be achieved for the trained words that remained stable for both post-tests, however, even for the limited set of training words a remarkable amount of repetitions did not lead to age adequate word recognition speed. Generalization to untrained words starting with a trained onset cluster (transfer words) was statistically reliable but small.
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... Although word decoding (i.e. mapping graphemes to their corresponding phonemes) gets more automatized by repetition (Share, 1995), decoding strategies are not sufficient to become an efficient and fluent reader as it mainly contributes to reading accuracy (Thaler, Ebner, Wimmer, & Landerl, 2004). In order to be able to read more complex words, word-specific orthographic representations of whole words and of larger sublexical units such as morphemes (Thaler et al., 2004) need to be build-up and stored in long-term memory (Ehri, 1995;Mann & Singson, 2003). ...
... mapping graphemes to their corresponding phonemes) gets more automatized by repetition (Share, 1995), decoding strategies are not sufficient to become an efficient and fluent reader as it mainly contributes to reading accuracy (Thaler, Ebner, Wimmer, & Landerl, 2004). In order to be able to read more complex words, word-specific orthographic representations of whole words and of larger sublexical units such as morphemes (Thaler et al., 2004) need to be build-up and stored in long-term memory (Ehri, 1995;Mann & Singson, 2003). Morphemes represent the smallest meaningful language units and carry phonologic, semantic and syntactical information. ...
... Thus, reading practice by repeated exposure to words and morphemes has been the most commonly used and evaluated method to enhance reading speed (Berends & Reitsma, 2006;Lemoine, Levy, & Hutchinson, 1993;Levy, Bourassa, & Horn, 1999;Thaler et al., 2004;Van Gorp, Segers, & Verhoeven, 2017) and is also recommended by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000). This approach seems especially relevant in transparent orthographies such as German, where a deficit in reading speed is the main diagnostic feature for reading disorder because reading accuracy is close to ceiling after one year of reading instruction (Aro & Wimmer, 2003;Landerl & Wimmer, 2008;Seymour, Aro, & Erskine, 2003). ...
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Technological tools have the potential to efficiently support learning performance in children and are therefore recognized as being beneficial for children with special needs, such as reading disorders. The present study investigated the effectivity of a novel digital game-based reading training in second- and third-grade children with reading disorder (N = 50) carried out in home environment over a short training period of eight to eleven weeks. Children were randomly assigned to either a training group (N = 25) receiving the digital game-based reading training or a control group performing digitalized mind games (N = 25). Results showed significant improvement of reading performance for trained word material and a trend for transfer effects to untrained words. The digital game-based reading training was also found to be highly motivating and feasible for use in home environment. This study extends existing knowledge about digital game-based reading support and underlines that using a multi-component reading approach combined with flow principles is beneficial for children with reading disorder. Furthermore, the evaluated program seems to be a promising addition for children who do not have access to individual reading support.
... The second approach-repeated reading-refers to repetitive reading of sublexical items (e.g., syllables), words, sentences, or texts. Although some studies have shown positive effects on students' word reading fluency from repeated reading intervention (e.g., Müller, Richter, Karageorgos, Krawietz, & Ennemoser, 2017), several intervention studies from shallow orthographies have shown that the effects tend to be item-specific and do not produce improvements in general reading fluency (Berends & Reitsma, 2007;Heikkilä, Aro, Närhi, Westerholm, & Ahonen, 2013;Hintikka, Landerl, Aro, & Lyytinen, 2008;Marinus, de Jong, & van der Leij, 2012;Thaler, Ebner, Wimmer, & Landerl, 2004). Thus, the development of effective evidence-based methods to promote children's reading fluency is still in progress. ...
... Thus, possible group differences in other learning-related skills could affect both the actual content of the support provided as well as the outcome because overlapping developmental problems could affect children's responsiveness to instruction (Torgesen et al., 2001). Third, the methods used to support poor readers in extra literacy lessons might not be effective for their reading fluency, as also found in several intervention studies carried out in shallow orthographies (Berends & Reitsma, 2007;Heikkilä et al., 2013;Hintikka et al., 2008;Marinus et al., 2012;Thaler et al., 2004). Fourth, in a group setting, children might not receive specific individualised support and feedback. ...
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This longitudinal quasi‐experimental study examined the general efficiency of part‐time special education for students at risk for reading difficulties in Estonian primary schools. Participants were selected from 464 students whose pre‐reading and reading skills were assessed for the study at the beginning of school. Eighty‐four of these children received part‐time special education support throughout the first grade (treatment group). Statistical matching was used to find a control group similar to the treatment group on pre‐reading skills and parental educational level but who did not receive extra help (control group; 84 children). Students' reading fluency and task persistence were assessed at the end of Grade 1 and Grade 2. Neither group differed in reading fluency nor task persistence at the end of either grade. Developmental trajectories of those treatment group children who received additional support only for reading and spelling difficulties did not differ from those who received this support for concurrent developmental disorders in addition to reading and spelling difficulties. Our findings indicate that a full‐year of special education support in the form of extra lessons without a prior diagnostic assessment, frequent progress monitoring, or focused interventions might not be an effective way to support children with reading difficulties.
... In dem Silbenlesetrai ning PotsBlitz[372] wi:rd beispielsweise expl izit eine Silbensegmentierungsstrategie vermi ttelt. Zur e rgänzenden Erweiterung des Sichtwortschatzes bieten sich Wortlesetrainings an(396]. Deren Effekte sind in der Tat wortspezifisch, da ein Transfer auf ungeübtes Wortmaterial nicht beobachtet werden kann. ...
Chapter
Summary on reading and/or spelling disorders: classification, prevalence, aetiology, diagnosis, intervention, cooperation and interdisciplinary cooperation (in Germany).
... The relationship between cognitive flexibility and reading comprehension may be influenced by language orthographies (Monette et al., 2011;Sluis, Jong, & Leij, 2007). Compared to readers of English, readers of shallow orthographies displayed more exhaustive letter-by-letter decoding (e.g., Landerl, 2000;Thaler et al., 2004). ...
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This study investigated executive function deficits among Chinese primary school children with word reading deficit and specific reading comprehension deficit. Working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility were examined among children with Word Reading Deficit (WRD), children with Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit (S-RCD) and Typically Developing children (TD). Results showed that compared to the TD group, children with WRD showed deficits in working memory and inhibitory control, whereas children with S-RCD had deficits only in working memory. Further analyses suggested that the difference between WRD group and S-RCD group’s poor performance on working memory was caused by different types of working memory tasks. The unique feature of the Chinese language may affect the difference between inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility.
... An efficient representation retrieval from the mental lexicon due to established pathways facilitates and accelerates decoding processes, thus, free cognitive resources can be used for higher processes, such as reading comprehension. This fast and efficient retrieval is, however, only achievable, if direct word identification is possible (Thaler, Ebner, Wimmer, & Landerl, 2004) via the lexical route from the mental lexicon. If the direct retrieval is not available, phonological awareness helps to translate print into words via the less automatized and less efficient letter-by-letter identification through phonological re-and decoding processes. ...
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Previous studies mostly examined the role of orthographic knowledge in basic reading processing (i.e., word-reading), however, regarding higher reading processing (i.e., sentence- and text-comprehension), mixed results were reported. In addition, previous research in transparent languages, such as German, focused mostly on typically skilled readers. The aim of this study was to examine the role of orthographic knowledge in basic reading processing (word-reading) as well as in higher reading processing (sentence- and text-comprehension), in addition to phonological awareness and naming speed in a sample of German elementary school poor readers. For this purpose, data from 103 German third-graders with poor reading proficiency were analyzed via multiple linear regression analysis. Analyses revealed that orthographic knowledge contributes to reading at word- and sentence-level, but not at text-level in German third-graders with poor reading proficiency, over and above phonological awareness and naming speed. These findings support that orthographic knowledge should be considered as a relevant reading related predictor. Therefore, it would be reasonable to include the assessment of orthographic knowledge skills in diagnostic procedures to identify children at risk to develop reading difficulties, besides phonological awareness and naming speed.
... Such findings could have implications for diagnosis and treatment of reading disorders. At the current state, reading fluency seems hard to train, given that previous intervention studies have shown only small training effects and low transfer to unlearned word material (Huemer et al., 2008;Thaler et al., 2004). A better understanding of the automatization deficit associated with naming speed delays might help to develop interventions that are more specific and thus more effective (Galuschka et al., 2014). ...
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Thesis
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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In 2 large longitudinal studies, we selected 3 subgroups of German-speaking children (phonological awareness deficit, naming-speed deficit, double deficit) at the beginning of school and assessed reading and spelling performance about 3 years later. Quite different from findings with English-speaking children, phonological awareness deficits did not affect phonological coding in word recognition but did affect orthographic spelling and foreign-word reading. Naming-speed deficits did affect reading fluency, orthographic spelling, and foreign-word reading. Apparently, in the context of a regular orthography and a synthetic phonics teaching approach, early phases of literacy acquisition (particularly the acquisition of phonological coding) are less affected by early phonological awareness deficits than are later phases that depend on the build up of orthographic memory.
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[propose] that a largely independent individual difference factor, indexed by speed of naming simple visual symbols such as single digits or letters, has a significant effect upon learning and retrieving orthographic patterns / the reading disabled child typically has difficulties in both phonemic sensitivity and in orthographic processing / argue that the reading disabled child's failure to abstract orthographic regularity after repeated print exposure and consequent difficulty acquiring automatic word recognition may be due to slow access to letter codes as well as to the spiralling effects of initially poor decoding and restricted reading experience why is naming speed for visual symbols correlated with reading / roles of task complexity and sample characteristics in naming–reading correlation / alternate accounts of naming speed–reading relationships / what are the implications of slow reading / development of orthographic representations / correlates of adult reading ability / speculative account of the route by which rapid naming affects orthographic development (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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how does the child mentally represent printed words at each point of reading development / how does the child access these representations during encounters with print / how do word representation and word access change with experience and instruction restricted-interactive model / acquiring functional lexical representations / acquiring an autonomous lexicon (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In 2 large longitudinal studies, we selected 3 subgroups of German-speaking children (phonological awareness deficit, naming-speed deficit, double deficit) at the beginning of school and assessed reading and spelling performance about 3 years later. Quite different from findings with English-speaking children, phonological awareness deficits did not affect phonological coding in word recognition but did affect orthographic spelling and foreign-word reading. Naming-speed deficits did affect reading fluency, orthographic spelling, and foreign-word reading. Apparently, in the context of a regular orthography and a synthetic phonics teaching approach, early phases of literacy acquisition (particularly the acquisition of phonological coding) are less affected by early phonological awareness deficits than by later phases that depend on the build up of orthographic memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)