The effect of increased review in teaching sight words to average and poor readers
By: Mollie David
Published: 1981
Uploaded: 10/18/2006
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: reading, Remedial teaching

Mollie David
Review, an important component of learning and retention, may be especially crucial to the poor learner, but may not be amply provided to such children in regular classroom instruction. This study examined the use of review in teaching sight words in first- and second-grade classrooms. The two major questions were: (1) To what extent do classroom teachers commonly use review in teaching sight words to average and poor readers in the early grades? and (2) What effect does increasing rate of review have on childrenĘs learning to read and retain sight words, especially among poor readers? Of supplementary interest was the extent to which teachersĘ experience in using a high rate of review would lead them to increased use of review in their subsequent teaching strategies.
Children and their teachers from 20 classrooms were studied. Each teacher worked with a group of 4 to 6 average and a group of 4 to 6 poor readers in her class. Final sample sizes after elimination of absentees totalled 99 average and 93 poor readers.
A child was designated as an average or poor reader based on teacher evaluation. All subjects scored within the average range in verbal ability on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Form A.
Children were taught five sight word lessons of 10 words each by their own teachers in their own classrooms. All lessons were tape recorded. Each teacher used her own teaching method(s) for the first two lessons (teacher method) and an experimental high review method for the third and fourth lessons. Each lesson took place on a different day. After each lesson, children were tested reading the words from flash cards and in the context of sentences. Testing took place immediately and 24 hours after each lesson.
The amount of review that each teacher used in both the teacher method and experimental method was calculated from the tapes by taking the average number of reviews per word (total times the teacher reviewed a word divided by 10 words). Using all measures of sight word learning and retention, repeated-measures ANOVAs were performed separately on average and poor reader samples to compare teacher method vs. experimental high review method instruction. Measures of word reading following teacher method instruction were also examined to compare the effects of teaching strategies incorporating larger amounts of review with those utilizing little or no review.
For the fifth and final lesson, teachers were again told to teach using whatever method(s) they wished. For each teacher the average number of reviews per word for Day 5 (after use of the experimental method) was compared to that provided in teacher method instruction.
Major results were as follows: (1) teacher method review varied considerably among teachers, with most using little or no review; (2) teachers tended to use the same amount of review with both average and poor readers; (3) poor readers performed significantly better with experimental high review instruction than with teacher method instruction, even 24 hours after learning; (4) poor readers instructed with moderate review in the teacher method performed better than those whose teachers used little/no review; (5) average readers performed well regardless of how much review they received (although use of the experimental method did significantly increase performance); and (6) most teachers increased their own use of review on Day 5 after exposure to the experimental high review method, especially with poor readers.
Results were interpreted in terms of the poor readerĘs need for more review than he or she presently appears to be getting in the classroom, and suggestions for future research were made.

Sponsor: N. Dale Bryant
Dissertation Committee: Mary Alice White
Degree: Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University