A Descriptive Study of the Word Identification Strategies Used by Proficient and Non-Proficient First Grade Readers
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The purpose of this study was to determine the word identification strategies utilized by proficient and non-proficient first grade readers. All word identification strategies were placed into two categories, word analysis or context clues. Six midyear first grade readers, three proficient and three non-proficient, were chosen using purposive sampling to participate in this study. Data were collected using three instruments: (1) A miscue analysis was conducted on individual oral reading samples, (2) participants were observed during small group oral reading, and (3) participants were interviewed regarding their perception of the word identification strategies they used regularly. Overall, both the proficient and the non-proficient first grade readers in this study used word analysis for word identification more often than they used context clues. The major difference between proficient and nonproficient first grade readers in the area of word identification was not which strategy they were attempting to use, but the amount of success they experienced with the strategies, specifically word analysis. While the attempts of the proficient readers at word analysis often ended in the successful identification of the stimulus word, the non-proficient readers were less successful with word analysis.
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