Giusto, M. (2015). Effectiveness of a partial read-aloud test accommodation to assess reading comprehension in students with a reading disability (Publication No. 3729013) [Doctoral dissertation, City University of New York]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1727740182
City University of New York (New York City, NY); ProQuest document ID: 1727740182
The partial read-aloud accommodation was described as when "only question items, multiple choice answers and proper nouns were read-aloud, and students were left to read the test passages independently" (p. 3). The pacing-only support involved providing guidance throughout testing about the segments of the test, but without reading items aloud. The researcher compared the combined partial read-aloud with pacing, to the pacing-only support, and to the no-accommodation standard testing condition.
Students with reading disability—specifically demonstrating poor decoding skills—were the population of interest. Grade 3 students with reading disability (N=28) and students without disabilities who were average readers (N=54) completed tests under three different conditions. The grade 3 student participants were drawn from two classrooms in a school across two school years, an after-school program from another school, and a summer camp program from several schools; all of the schools were identified as high-achieving schools in a Queens, New York school district. The school population demographics were reported, and the participants' demographics were also specified—including genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and linguistic backgrounds. The numerical breakdown of students' demographics and screened reading skill levels—poor decoders and average readers—was also provided.
Participants completed a series of screening pre-tests. including vocabulary, word identification, and word attack skills, as well as language functions such as spoken directions and spoken paragraphs. The study's test providing dependent variable data was a norm-referenced grade 3 reading comprehension achievement test—the Gates-MacGinitie Reading comprehenstion Tests (GMRT)—presented under two different accommodated conditions and in a standard non-accommodated condition.
Students with reading disability pertaining to decoding scored significantly higher on reading comprehension with the partial read-aloud with pacing accommodation than with either the pacing-only support or without accommodations. Further, the pacing-only and non-accommodated conditions did not yield significantly different scores from one another. The students without decoding difficulties (i.e., without disabilities) did not score significantly differently across the three testing conditions. Additionally, the varying linguistic backgrounds among students in both participant groups did not demonstrate an effect on the mean scoring patterns; that is, linguistic background was not a factor in the differences reported previously. Correlations among the reading comprehension test and the screening tests indicated that "the paragraph comprehension task [in the pre-test] may be a better way to measure language comprehension as it explains variance in reading comprehension of text" (p. 65). The researcher also reported anecdotal observations of participants while completing the reading comprehension test under different conditions. Students in both participant groups showed no attention (possibly unfocused) or seemed frustrated with waiting to move on to another test section, in the pacing-only condition. Finally, the researcher indicated that the partial read-aloud accommodation with pacing support addressed concerns indicated in other research and practice about invalidating the reading comprehension construct. In other words, not reading the text passages yet providing read-aloud for the remaining parts of the test was demonstrated to differentially benefit students with decoding skills difficulties. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.