• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Review of related literature
 Procedures and methodology
 Results and discussion
 Summary, conclusions, and...
 References
 References
 Biographical sketch














Group Title: concurrent validity study of the emergent reading level
Title: A concurrent validity study of the emergent reading level
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 Material Information
Title: A concurrent validity study of the emergent reading level
Physical Description: vii, 81 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stanley, Nile Van, 1954-
Publication Date: 1986
Copyright Date: 1986
 Subjects
Subject: Reading -- Ability testing   ( lcsh )
Reading (Elementary)   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Nile Van Stanley.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1986.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 77-80.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099475
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000881654
notis - AEH9524
oclc - 014989598

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Abstract
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Review of related literature
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Procedures and methodology
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Results and discussion
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Summary, conclusions, and recommendations
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    References
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    References
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Biographical sketch
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
Full Text













A CONCURRENT VALIDITY STUDY OF THE
EMERGENT READING LEVEL








BY

NILE VAN STANLEY





















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1986
















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I gratefully acknowledge Dr. William Powell, Dr. Edward

Turner, Dr. Janet Larsen, Dr. John Bengston, and Dr. Forrest

Parkay for their inspiration, guidance, patience, and

friendship. Special thanks go to Dr. Powell for being my

chairman and mentor. Also, I thank Dr. James Algina for his

advice on aspects of methodology and analysis.

I wish to thank Williams Elementary School, specifi-

cally Mrs. Lozano, Mrs. Cunningham, and their students,

whose participation in the project made the dissertation

possible.

I extend thanks to my wife, Laurel, for her love,

devotion, and understanding during the duration of this

degree program; my parents, Vincent and Eulah Stanley, for

their spiritual as well as financial support; my brother

J.V. for his comic relief; my in-laws, Dr. and Mrs. John

Brown, for their love and support; and to an extended family

of friends, Chet, Lisbeth, Greg, and Marina, for their

belief in me.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . ii

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . .. .. v

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . vi

CHAPTER
I INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . 1

Statement of the Problem . . . . . 3
Hypothesis . . . . . . . . 4

Hypothesis I . . . . . . 4
Hypothesis II . . . . . . 4

Significance of the Problem . . . . 4
Limitations . . . . . . . . 6
Definition of Terms . . . . . . 7

Concurrent Validity . . . . . 7
Emergent Reading Level . . . . 7
Functional Reading Levels . . . 8
IRI Criteria . . . . . . 8
.Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) . 9
Mediated (Dynamic) IRI . . . . 9
Traditional (Static) IRI . . .. 10
Trial Reading Lesson . . . .. 10
Zone of Proximal Development ... . 10

II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE . . . .. 12

Instructional Reading Level . . . .. 12
The Vygotskian Perspective . . . .. 15
The Zone of Proximal Development . . .. 17
The Emergent Reading Level . . . .. 19
Trial Reading Lesson . . . . ... 29
Summary of Research . . . . . .. 29

















CHAPTER Page

III PROCEDURES AND METHODOLOGY . . . ... 32

Sample . . . . . . . . ... 32
Instrumentation . . . . . . .. 32

I. Static Informal Reading Inventory
(IRI) . . . . . . . . 32
II. Mediated Dynamic IRI . . . 34
III. Basal Reader with Trial
Teaching . . . . . ... 34
IV. Trial Reading Lesson Posttest
IRI . . . . . . . .. 35
Procedure . . . . . . .. 36
Administration . . . . . .. 37
Data Analysis . . . . . .. 37

Hypothesis I . . . . .. 39
Hypothesis II . . . . .. 40

IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION . . . . .. 41

Hypothesis I . . . . . . ... 41
Hypothesis II . . . . . . ... 47
Discussion . . . . . . . ... 52

V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 57

Summary . . . . . . . ... 57
Conclusions . . . . . . . .. 61
Recommendations . . . . . . .. 62

APPENDIX
A STUDENT PROTOCOLS: NON-MEDIATED IRI,
MEDIATED IRI, TRIAL LESSON POST-TEST IRI,
BETTS' AND POWELL'S CRITERIA APPLIED,
EMERGENT READING LEVEL, AND BASELINE
DATA . . . . . . . . .. 64

B MEDIATED IRI PROCEDURE FOR PASSAGE 5B OF
Diagnostic Reading Scales . . . .. 75

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . 77

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . 81
















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1. Comparison of Emergent Reading Level and
Betts' Instructional Reading Level .... .43

2. Percentage of Agreement Between Emergent
Reading Level and Two Trial Reading
Lessons . . . . . . . ... 45

3. Comparison of Powell and Betts Criteria 48

4. Percentage of Agreement Among Betts, Powell
Criteria, and Emergent Reading Level with
Trial Reading Lesson . . . . . .. .51

5. Frequency Distribution of Various Reading
Placement Predictors . . . . ... 53

















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



A CONCURRENT VALIDITY STUDY OF
THE EMERGENT READING LEVEL

By

Nile Van Stanley

May, 1986

Chairman: William R. Powell
Major Department: Instruction and Curriculum

This study investigated the concurrent validity of a

new construct for placement, the Emergent (mediated) Reading

Level. This construct, based upon the Soviet psychologist

Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development,

focused on identifying the level of reading performance a

child could achieve with adult support. The major intent of

the study was to determine which method of placement, the

traditional Informal Reading Inventory (IRI), or the

mediated IRI better predicted an appropriate book level

placement that would maximize benefit for reading instruc-

tion.

An ancillary purpose of the study investigated the IRI

and two types of scoring criteria used to select Instruc-

tional Reading Level.









The 21 second graders who served as subjects were

administered IRIs by two different methods. In the tradi-

tional method, subjects were tested without adult assis-

tance. In the mediated method, subjects received

instruction prior to testing.

Analysis included the Wilcoxon test and percentage of

agreement matrixes. Differences between the book level

placements predicted by each method were significant. The

Emergent (mediated) Reading Level was found to place sub-

jects two to three book levels higher than the traditional

IRI. A follow-up analysis indicated subjects could sustain

their higher Emergent Reading Levels during concurrent trial

lessons.

A significant difference existed between the Betts and

Powell IRI criteria in predicting appropriate reading

placement. The Powell criteria resulted in higher place-

ments. However, the Powell and Betts criteria substantially

underestimated placement when compared to Emergent Reading

Level.

Data from this study supported Emergent Reading Level

as a valid and more accurate predictor of placement than the

traditional IRI. Current procedures used to place children

for reading instruction are likely to result in underplace-

ment.
















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION



The Informal Reading Inventory (IRI), an individually

administered reading test, consists of a series of graded

word lists and passages of increasing language complexity

with accompanying comprehension questions to be read and

answered by the child without any adult prompting or sup-

port. Using the IRI to establish instructional level, that

is, to predict the highest level of book in which the child

can profit from instruction is a useful and widespread

practice. Introduced by Betts (1941, 1946), the method of

establishing the instructional level using an IRI has

changed little despite many unresolved issues concerning

reliability, validity, and interpretation (Johns & Lunn,

1983; Pikulski, 1974).

One criticism of the traditional administration of the

IRI is that it ignores the instructional dimension of a

developmental reading context (Powell, 1982). Therefore,

the term Instructional Reading Level is misleading because

it is obtained without teacher guidance or instruction. The

instructional level is obtained by students answering a

pre-specified percentage of questions with a specified









criterion level of oral reading proficiency without assis-

tance. Because the teacher does no teaching during the IRI

administration, the instructional level obtained may under-

estimate what the student could sustain during actual

instruction.

This study investigated an alternative construct for

placement, the Emergent (mediated) Reading Level (Powell,

1982). This construct is based upon the Soviet psychologist

Vygotsky's (1962, 1978) concept of emerging mental func-

tions--the zone of proximal development, which focuses on

the phase in development in which the child has only par-

tially mastered a task but can participate in its execution

with the assistance and supervision of an adult. For

Vygotsky, in educational assessment it was important to

distinguish between the child's actual development, measured

by unaided performance on tests, and the child's level of

potential development--performance achievable with aid.

Vygotsky's zone of proximal development is based on the

principle of cognitive operations in terms of emerging

learning processes, (a) that designate the child's level of

functioning in a mediated situation (i.e., under adult

guidance or in collaboration with capable peers), and

(b) that come to the surface for observation and diagnosis

when the child is engaged in a highly difficult learning

task.









Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study was to investigate the

concurrent validity of the Emergent (mediated) Reading

Level, a construct for reading placement applied to the

Informal Reading Inventory (IRI). This construct was based

upon Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development.

The major question to be answered was which method of place-

ment, the traditional IRI, or the mediated IRI was more

predictive in assigning accurate functional reading levels

for instruction? That was, would one method best predict an

appropriate book level placement that would provide for more

growth in reading instruction? The question was one of

concurrent related validity. Was the Emergent Reading Level

a valid predictor for reading placement? The criterion,

proper placement, was measured by concurrent success on a

trial reading lesson.

An ancillary purpose of the study investigated the

appropriate numerical criteria for establishing a reader's

instructional level through the administration of an IRI.

The intent was to determine whether the traditional (Betts,

1941) criteria or the differential (Powell, 1978) criteria,

applied to reader's performance in both word recognition and

comprehension, was best for determining appropriate book

level placement. In other words, which numerical criteria

placed the reader at a level that was commensurate with the

level that could actually be sustained during a trial

reading lesson?









Hypotheses

Two hypotheses, stated in the null form, were tested in

this study.



Hypothesis I

There is no difference between the Emergent Reading

Level, as measured by a mediated IRI, and the traditional

Instructional Reading Level, as measured by a non-mediated

IRI, in predicting appropriate book level placement for

reading instruction.



Hypothesis II

There is no difference between Betts' criteria or

Powell's differentiated criteria in predicting appropriate

book level placement for reading instruction.



Significance of the Problem

Despite over 40 years of using the Informal Reading

Inventory (IRI) as a means of evaluating the reading perfor-

mance of children, unresolved issues concerning reliability,

validity, and interpretation remain (Johns & Lunn, 1983;

Pikulski, 1974). Empirically validated evidence of desig-

nating the instructional reading level is sparse. Powell's

(1978) research challenges Betts' (1941) traditionally

accepted criteria for establishing an instructional level.

Also, Powell (1982) has stated that all sets of existing

criteria for interpreting errors and placement at the









Instructional Reading Level are likely to produce too low a

placement level because it is not obtained under the condi-

tions of instruction or adult mediation. According to

Vygotsky (1978) instruction should occur within a student's

zone of proximal development, that is, the distance between

the actual development as determined by independent problem

solving and the level of potential development as determined

through problem solving under adult guidance or in collabo-

ration with capable peers. More recently, Dixon, Stanley,

and Powell's (1984b) research which applied Vygotsky's

concept of the zone of proximal development to diagnosis and

placement using the IRI suggests that a new construct,

Emergent Reading Level, may provide for more accurate

placement.

Related to the issues of informal diagnosis is the

concept of the trial lesson. Also known as "trial teach-

ing," this method has been historically used to select an

approach for teaching word-recognition skills or determining

which beginning approach is more likely to succeed for which

children (Harris & Roswell, 1953; Mills, 1955; Sullivan,

1951). Written reports of applying this method to compre-

hension or placement are unknown, suggesting it has not been

done. The experimenter of the present study made a simple

modification of the trial lesson concept for verifying

that students could sustain their book level placements

during actual instruction as predicted by their Emergent

Reading Levels.









The present study may provide additional supporting

evidence for the Emergent (mediated) Reading Level, thus

seriously questioning existing placement practices using the

IRI. The possibility that the traditional method of admin-

istering and interpreting the IRI may result in underplace-

ment for reading instruction is a very important concern.

Underplacement can be as frustrating as overplacement

because the underplaced reader is not challenged.

This study may also help resolve the issue of which set

of numerical criteria is best suited for placing readers in

instructional materials in order to provide for maximum

growth in reading instruction. That the different criteria

applied to the traditional IRI can also result in underplac-

ing the reader is again a very important concern.



Limitations

There are limitations concerning the sample population.

For one, the sample used consisted of volunteers by parental

permission and therefore was not randomly selected from the

total population. Secondly, results will be generalizable

only to populations similar to this sample population. That

is, second grade students who are of average reading

achievement and attend a small urban elementary school.

Also, the sample size poses a limitation as the number of

subjects was 21, and 5 of the total 21 for a latter part of

the study.









There are limitations concerning the mediated IRI.

Mediation consisted of the researcher providing a support

system for the reader by building background, setting

purposes, and defining unfamiliar vocabulary prior to the

administration of a published IRI (Spache, 1981). Results

will be applicable to testing situations which use similar

mediation and similar IRIs. Furthermore, successful

placement based upon the mediated IRI necessitates mediated

instruction.



Definition of Terms



Concurrent Validity

Concurrent validity refers to the extent to which

scores on a test are in agreement with some given criterion

measure. No significant time interval elapses between

administration of the test being validated and of the

criterion measure. In the present study, the purpose was to

determine if the Emergent (mediated) Reading Level was a

valid placement predictor for the criterion--actual book

level sustained during instruction.



Emergent Reading Level

Emergent or Mediated Reading Level refers to a con-

struct for placement proposed by Powell (1982); it desig-

nates the student's level of functioning in a mediated









situation (i.e., under adult guidance and assistance) when

engaged in a highly difficult reading task.



Functional Reading Levels

Functional reading levels include (a) the Independent

Reading Level, the highest level at which the student can

read with almost no errors in word recognition or comprehen-

sion; (b) the Instructional Reading Level, the highest level

at which the student is able to read, with teacher guidance,

challenging materials successfully; and (c) the Frustration

Reading Level, that at which the reader is unable to cope

with the material successfully.



IRI Criteria

IRI criteria refer to the quantitative analysis of a

reader's performance in word recognition and comprehension

on an IRI to determine functional reading levels. Different

sets of criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978) can be applied

to a reader's performance in word recognition and comprehen-

sion, and they appear to result in different placements.

Whether the difference is statistically significant is

unclear. Furthermore, it is unknown which criteria result

in the most valid placement.

The Betts (1941) criteria for determining Instructional

Reading Level are

Book Level Word Recognition Comprehension

All 95% to 98% 75% to 89%









The Powell (1978) differentiated criteria for determin-

ing Instructional Reading Level are

Book Level Word Recognition Comprehension

PP-1 87% to 93% 55% to 80%

3-5 92% to 95% 60% to 85%

6+ 94% to 96% 65% to 90%



Informal Reading Inventory (IRI)

The IRI is an accepted means of establishing the

Independent, Instructional, and Frustration Reading Levels

for placement. The IRI is composed of graded word lists and

passages generally 100 to 200 words in length, usually

ranging in successive difficulty from a pre-primer to eighth

grade reading level. The reader's performance on an IRI

yields word recognition and comprehension percentage scores

which are interpreted by applying various criteria (Betts,

1941; Powell, 1978). The IRI may be teacher constructed or

commercially published.



Mediated (Dynamic) IRI

Mediated or dynamic (Budoff, 1972; Feuerstein, 1979)

refers to a style of administering the IRI which is

identical to the traditional (static) IRI, but includes the

addition of the mediated situation prior to the reader

reaching frustration. The examiner provides a support

system for the reader in more difficult passages by building









background, setting purposes, and defining unfamiliar

vocabulary.



Traditional (Static) IRI

Traditional or static (Budoff, 1972; Feuerstein, 1979)

refers to a style of administering the IRI which involves

having the student, unassisted, orally read passages of

increasing difficulty while the examiner records errors on

another copy of the material from which the student is

reading. An assisted word calling or prompting during the

asking of comprehension questions are counted as errors.

Testing ceases when the reader reaches frustration.



Trial Reading Lesson

The concept of the trial reading lesson has histori-

cally referred to as a technique used to verify diagnostic

findings related to teaching word recognition skills (Harris

& Roswell, 1953; Mills, 1955; Sullivan, 1951). In the

present study the concept trial reading lesson has been

modified to mean a procedure for verifying children can

sustain their book level placements as predicted from the

administration of the mediated IRI.



Zone of Proximal Development

Vygotsky (1978) defined the zone of proximal develop-

ment as "the distance between the actual developmental level





11



as determined by independent problem solving and the level

of potential development as determined through problem

solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more

capable peers" (p. 86).















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE



Instructional Reading Level

The Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) has been used

since 1941 as a means of evaluating the reading performance

of children. Although Johns and Lunn (1983) traced the

origin and development of informal assessment from the early

1900s, Emmett A. Betts (1941, 1946) is generally considered

to be the originator of the IRI. Both Johns and Lunn (1983)

and Pikulski (1974) have reviewed the unresolved issues

which have evolved after nearly a half century inquiry into

the IRI. Researchers have focused on such issues as relia-

bility, validity, and the appropriate criteria for

establishing instructional level.

The concept of Instructional Reading Level introduced

by Betts (1941) signifies the hierarchical developmental

level at which instruction is aimed. The Instructional

Reading Level is based on the assumptions of Hullian psycho-

logical learning theory and taxonomic linguistics (Fodor,

Bever, & Garrett, 1974). These assumptions include the

following: (a) language is hierarchically organized;

(b) the child's developmental reading behavior is charac-

terized by a serial growth patterning; (c) learning to read









involves learning to process the lowest level followed by

learning to process each successive level; and (d) as lower

levels become more efficiently processed, more time may be

spent processing higher levels (LaBerge & Samuels, 1974;

Perfetti & Hogaboam, 1975), resulting in faster and more

accurate word recognition and comprehension of text.

The traditional concept of Instructional Reading Level

is measured by an Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) which

consists of passages of increasing language complexity with

accompanying comprehension questions to be read and answered

by the child without adult prompting or support. It is

assumed that the complexity in reading processing coincides

with the levels of linguistic complexity inherent in the IRI

passages. Grade norms signify the level of linguistic

complexity of the passages, and mastery of the successively

graded passages signifies the learner's level of hierarchi-

cal reading processing level.

The major standard teachers have used for interpreting

error range of the IRI has been Betts' criteria (1941).

Derivation of the instructional level is based on the word

recognition in context score and the comprehension score.

According to Betts, setting an instructional level requires

that the reader make no more than five miscues per 100 words

(95% accuracy) in oral reading and answer comprehension

questions with a minimum of 75% accuracy regardless of

passage level difficulty.









Powell (1970, 1971, 1978) has noted there is little

experimental evidence to support the Betts' criteria and has

suggested that different criteria are called for at various

grade levels. Powell's differentiated criteria (1978) take

into account passage level difficulty and permit the reader

less accuracy in word recognition and comprehension to

establish instructional level than do Betts' (1941)

criteria. Powell's criteria usually place the student at

higher functional reading levels than do Betts' criteria.

Homan (1978) conducted a study to find out whether

students placed by the Betts (1941) and Powell (1978)

criteria would result in similar placements. Results

indicated that 51% of the time the criteria resulted in the

same placements. However, 49% of the time different

placements resulted. Of that 49%, Homan (1978) found that

the Powell criteria always placed the students at a higher

instructional reading level. Homan (1978) reported that

55% of the time the Powell criteria placed the students one

grade level above the Betts criteria designated placement;

38% two levels above, and 7% three levels above the

traditional criteria.

More recently, Powell (1982, 1984) has reformulated his

position on the criteria issue. Powell (1982) contended

that all sets of existing criteria may produce too low a

level of placement due to the way the IRI is traditionally

administered. The IRI estimates instructional level without

providing an instructional dimension in the testing mode.









Instructional Reading Level really represents independent

functioning, not what a student can do with supporting

instruction. Powell (1982, 1984) has proposed an alterna-

tive construct for placement, the Emergent (mediated)

Reading Level which is based on Vygotsky's (1962, 1978)

concept, the zone of proximal development.



The Vygotskian Perspective

The Soviet psychologist Lev Seminovich Vygotsky

(1896-1934) formulated the theoretical context for his

concept of the zone of proximal development within his

social-cultural theory of cognitive development. His

writings were translated into English posthumously. The

Vygotskian perspective has been well documented (Luria,

1978; Rogoff & Wertsch, 1984; Smith et al., 1976; Vygotsky,

1962, 1978; Wertsch, 1980, 1981). Some basic tenets of

Vygotsky's cognitive developmental theory are highlighted

here.

Committed to a psychology based on Marxist premises,

Vygotsky stressed that the formation of higher mental

functions have their origins in social interaction.

Vygotsky believed that the verbal dialogue between adult and

child was pivotal in the development of the child's think-

ing. Rogoff and Wertsch (1984) explained

Vygotsky (1981) . postulated that mental
functioning occurs first between people in social
interaction and then within the child on the
psychological plane. This implies that mental
functions, such as thinking, reasoning, problem
solving, or logical memory, can be carried out in









collaboration by several people (on the interpsy-
chological plane) as well as by an individual (on
the intrapsychological plane). (Rogoff & Wertsch,
1984, pp. 1-2)

Vygotsky contended that adult language qualitatively

restructured the mental functions of the developing child

through a process he explained as "internalization." An

adult's planning and directing function guides and regulates

the child's activities, and this planning function gradually

becomes the means by which the child is capable of moving

from an other-regulated, interpsychological plane to the

self-regulated, intrapsychological plane (Werstch, 1981).

The Vygotskian perspective which emphasizes the role of

language in the creation of thought contrasts markedly with

Piaget's view of cognitive development (Smith et al., 1976).

Jean Piaget (1896-1980), the highly esteemed developmental

stage theorist whose theories have greatly influenced

educational practice, minimized the influence of adult

language as well as instruction upon the child's developing

thought processes. Piaget characterized development as an

innate process of maturation plus experience that is a

prerequisite for learning. He believed that instruction

should be oriented toward stages of development already

completed. Piaget viewed language and instruction as

outside agents in the child's developing thought processes.

Conversely, Vygotsky's basic premise was that the child's

cognitive development is the direct result of social inter-

action and ultimately, instruction. For Piaget, development









precedes instruction, whereas for Vygotsky (1962)

instruction precedes development and leads it; "it must be

aimed not so much at the ripe as at the ripening function"

(1962, p. 104). The contrasting Piagetian and Vygotskian

perspectives on cognitive development were well

characterized by Jerome Bruner:

Jean Piaget, set forth an image of human develop-
ment as a lone venture for the child, in which
others could not help unless the child had already
figured things out on his own and in which not
even language could provide useful hints about the
conceptual matters to be mastered . (Vygotsky)
set forth a view in which growth was a collective
responsibility and language one of the major tools
of that collectivity. (quoted in Rogoff &
Werstch, 1984, p. 96)

For Vygotsky, to understand an individual's cognitive growth

necessitates examining the child's patterns of participation

in social dialogue with adults or capable peers. Vygotsky

proposed his concept of the zone of proximal development as

an approach to educational assessment.



The Zone of Proximal Development

Vygotsky addressed the issues of diagnosis and place-

ment for instruction (1962, 1978) with the formation of his

concept of the zone of proximal development. Vygotsky

(1978) defined the zone of proximal development as

The difference between the actual development
level as determined by independent problem solving
and the higher level of potential development as
determined through problem solving under adult
guidance or in collaboration with more capable
peers. (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86)









For Vygotsky, a child's range of potential development is

best measured by examining the difference between the level

of unassisted performance of a task and the level of

assisted performance.

Vygotsky's concern with the relationship between a

child's level of actual development and potential develop-

ment led him to critique established methods of psychologi-

cal testing. Vygotsky argued that static test procedures,

measures of unaided performance such as standard ability and

achievement tests, were indicators of already completed

development and dramatically underestimate children's

learning potential. Vygotsky (1978) stressed that test data

which reveal actual functioning view development "retrospec-

tively" while the zone of proximal development views devel-

opment prospectivelyy" (pp. 86-87).

Vygotsky's zone of proximal development is based on a

principle that redefines cognitive operations in terms of

emerging learning processes instead of the presence of

fixed, preordered thought structures. According to

Vygotsky's (1978) principle these emerging learning pro-

cesses (a) designate the child's level of functioning in a

mediated situation as under adult guidance or in collabo-

ration with capable peers, and (b) come to the surface for

observation and diagnosis when the child is engaged in

highly difficult learning tasks.









Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development

has stimulated a considerable body of research in a variety

of areas and has been reviewed by Rogoff and Werstch (1984).

The next section reports on the pertinent research on

reading and the zone of proximal development.



The Emergent Reading Level

Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development

has been applied to diagnosis and placement for reading

instruction by Powell's (1982, 1984) formulation of the

construct, Emergent (mediated) Reading Level. William

Powell, particularly prominent for challenging the numerical

criteria for setting the Instructional Reading Level,

contended that the present method of assigning students to

functional reading levels is likely to result in underplace-

ment. Powell pointed out that the traditional administra-

tion of the Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) ignores the

instructional dimension of a developmental reading lesson.

Instructional Reading Level is obtained by students answer-

ing a pre-specified percentage of questions with a specified

criterion level of oral reading proficiency without assis-

tance; therefore, it is a measure of independent perform-

ance, not the potential to profit from guided instruction.

Powell (1982, 1984) maintained that to measure a

child's growth potential for reading instruction, a dynamic

testing versus a static testing style (Budoff, 1972;

Feuerstein, 1979) should be used. A dynamic testing method









measures the student's reading performance when given adult

support. It investigates the child's response to instruc-

tion via teacher/student interaction. A static testing

procedure such as the traditional IRI measures unassisted

reading performance.

The construct, Emergent (mediated) Reading Level, a

dynamic method of assessment proposed by Powell (1982,

1984), examines potential for growth in reading instruction

by measuring the level of highest performance within the

zone of proximal development. Powell (1982, 1984) recom-

mended a procedure for determining Emergent Reading Level

consistent with Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal

development. First, establish an Independent Reading Level

of performance. (This Powell contended is synonymous with

the instructional level in the traditional IRI format.)

Next, the examiner provides reading passages of increasing

difficulty and fosters a mediated situation prior to the

reader reaching frustration. The examiner mediates by

providing a support system for the reader by building

background, setting purposes, and defining unfamiliar

vocabulary. The Emergent Reading Level is designated as the

highest level of reading performance the student can sustain

with adult assistance. Powell (1982) emphasized that his

construct of Emergent (mediated) Reading Level is consistent

with the Vygotskian perspective on learning:

S. the notion of mediation is such that the
child should become less dependent upon an adult
and begin to plan, monitor, and control his or her
own processing for information gain. There should









be a gradual movement from the inter-psychological
plane to the intra-psychological plane, from the
other regulated behavior to self-regulated behav-
ior. (Powell, 1982, p. 4)

Two experimental studies by Dixon, Stanley, and Powell

(1984a, 1984b) challenged the traditional concept of

Instructional Reading Level by exploring the construct of

Emergent Reading Level. The researchers investigated the

reading levels a pupil can sustain under adult mediation,

using expository and narrative materials. The results of

both studies confirmed the effectiveness of the Emergent

Reading Level as a viable alternative to Instructional

Reading Level in placement for classroom reading

instruction. In addition, the authors concluded that all

sets of existing criteria for assigning Instructional

Reading Level produced too low a level of placement because

it was not obtained under the conditions of adult mediation.

Each experiment (Dixon et al., 1984b) followed that

recommended by Vygotsky for investigating the child's zone

of proximal development. An adult assisted reading task,

two to three levels above the measured pupil reading

achievement, was used to uncover the child's emerging level

of cognitive functioning. The first experiment involved a

sample of 52 subjects, 26 third graders and 26 sixth

graders, of average reading ability as measured by the

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Achievement Test. Subjects were

randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. All

subjects were administered cloze pretest science passages









two readability levels above their actual developmental

reading levels (i.e., third graders tested at level five and

sixth graders tested at level eight). Prior to posttesting,

half of the third graders and half of the sixth graders were

engaged in a mediated situation. The other half served as a

control group and received no mediation. The mediation

included discussion and explanation of unfamiliar vocabulary

and concepts contained in the passages, collaboration with

capable peers in verbalizing previously acquired vocabulary

and concepts, and adult guidance in organizing and inter-

relating these concepts in relation to adult cognitive

structures. When incorporating an instructional dimension

during diagnosis to determine Emergent Reading Levels,

subjects' placements for reading instruction were generally

estimated to be two levels upward from the traditional

Instructional Reading Level.

The second experiment (Dixon et al., 1984b) involved

24 end-of-the-year fifth graders of average reading ability.

Subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental or

control group and administered a sixth grade, silent narra-

tive IRI to establish baseline reading performance. All

subjects silently read passages from unfamiliar fables at

the seventh and eighth grade readability levels in a

pretest-posttest IRI format. Half of the students were

assigned the experimental group and received mediation prior

to posttesting. The other half served as a control group

and received no mediation prior to posttesting. Mediation









consisted of an interactive dialogue on pertinent vocabulary

and literary concepts in the fable passages. The results

showed that the group receiving mediation performed signifi-

cantly higher than the control group. The mediated group's

mean comprehension performance on seventh and eighth grade

passages were 94% and 85%, respectively. The non-mediated

group's mean comprehension on the same level passages were

80% and 65%, respectively. Applying the Betts (1943)

criteria to the results, the researchers concluded that

using the traditional concept of Instructional Reading Level

of the IRI, the subjects would have been underplaced at

their actual developmental reading in sixth or seventh grade

materials. Emergent (mediated) Reading Levels indicated

subjects would profit from instruction at eighth grade level

and beyond. The researchers further concluded that all sets

of existing criteria for determining placement produced too

low a level of placement because instructional reading level

was not obtained under the conditions of adult mediation.

In a separate pilot study, Newman (now Kragler) and

Powell (1985) investigated the usefulness of the Emergent

Reading construct for low achieving students. The 19 fourth

graders who served as subjects were enrolled in Chapter I

classrooms and below average readers. In the experiment,

students answered a 20 multiple-choice question pretest and

posttest prior to reading a fifth grade level, fable pas-

sage. Students were randomly assigned to an experimental









group, receiving mediation prior to posttesting, or control

group receiving no mediation prior to posttesting. Media-

tion consisted of an interactive dialogue concerning con-

cepts about fables and selected vocabulary. Results

indicated that the mediated group on the average answered

correctly 2.5 more questions on the posttest than did the

control group. The evidence suggested that an application

of the Emergent Reading Level construct with low achieving

students would place students higher than traditional

methods.

Recently two separate dissertations (Dixon, 1985;

Kragler, 1986) provided additional evidence of the effec-

tiveness of the Emergent Reading Level construct. Dixon's

(1985) major finding was that the traditional IRI could be

modified by adding a mediated situation to measure students'

Emergent Reading Levels which were found to be more accurate

estimates of placement than Instructional Reading Levels.

Findings from this study also indicated the best type of

mediation for evaluating students' Emergent Reading Levels

focused on a story schema plus vocabulary approach.

Kragler's (1986) findings, based on a sample of low

achievers, also support the dynamic assessment model

(Budoff, 1972; Feuerstein, 1979) of Emergent Reading Levels

as a better predictor of placement than static methods such

as the traditional IRI. Kragler's (1986) results also

support a vocabulary development approach via social








dialogue for mediation prior to IRI passage reading when

measuring Emergent Reading Levels.

Dixon's (1985) study involved a sample of 24 third

graders of average to high average reading ability randomly

assigned to experimental and control groups. All subjects

were administered a static (non-mediated) and Dynamic

(mediated) Quick Test, a verbal intelligence measure, and a

static, silent IRI pretest. All subjects were administered

two silent IRI posttests at each successive grade level,

four through seven. The experimental group engaged in one

of two kinds of mediation prior to posttesting and the

control group received no mediation prior to posttesting.

One mediation consisted of a story schema development

approach (i.e., the story setting, problem, and goal)

through social dialogue. The other mediation was a story

schema approach plus direct instruction of vocabulary.

Dixon (1985) summarized the findings of the study with

five conclusions about the Emergent Reading Level construct:

1. The dynamic testing model which used a mediated IRI was

effective in exposing students' zones of proximal

development for reading functioning. Third graders

operating in a mediated IRI had Emergent Reading Levels

at fourth through seventh grade level. Subjects

operating in a static IRI had Instructional Reading

Levels at grade three and were frustrated at levels

four through seven.









2. The data reconfirmed that existing sets of criteria

such as Betts' (1941) and Powell's (1978) failed to

identify the upper threshold of students' zones of

proximal development for reading. Dixon recommended an

adjusted comprehension error range criteria for setting

Emergent Reading Levels (i.e., 50% to 85% accuracy at

passage levels four and five, and 55% to 90% accuracy

at passage levels six and seven).

3. The most effective mediation in exposing students'

Emergent Reading Levels was the story schema plus

vocabulary development approach; next effective,

vocabulary development approach; and ineffective, was

the story schema development approach.

4. Students who received mediation prior to the adminis-

tration of a verbal intelligence test scored signifi-

cantly higher than students not receiving mediation,

suggesting that standard verbal measures may underesti-

mate learning potential.

5. There was not a significant relationship between

students' mediated verbal zones and Emergent Reading

Levels.

In a more recent dissertation, Kragler (1986) recon-

firmed the effectiveness of the dynamic assessment model

(Budoff, 1972; Feuerstein, 1979) of Emergent Reading Level

with underachievers in reading. The study involved 21 third

graders enrolled in Chapter I classrooms, ranging six months

to two years behind in reading achievement. Students'








silent comprehension of third through fifth grade level IRI

passages was assessed by their ability to recall a possible

total of 20 story events. Reading performance was evaluated

by using Kenneth Goodman's category of an effective reader

criteria (i.e., Instructional Reading Level ascertained as

40 to 55 percent accurate recall of a given passage).

Students were randomly assigned to an experimental group

which received mediation prior to the tests of story recall

or a control group which received no mediation. Mediation

consisted of a social dialogue in which selected vocabulary

was defined through use of context. Results of the experi-

ment indicated that the mediation was effective at all

passage levels in increasing the percentage of recalled

story events. Students were generally estimated to have

reading placements nine months to one year higher than

students tested by the traditional, static IRI.

In addition, Kragler (1986) investigated whether

underachievers could sustain their predicted higher, Emer-

gent Reading Level placements during actual instruction.

The experimental group, 11 subjects, were pre-instructed

(mediated) and posttested on story events of a 4.3 readabil-

ity level basal story which a traditional IRI had previously

indicated was at the students' frustration level. A control

group, 9 subjects, received no mediation prior to posttest-

ing but silently read the basal story twice. Results of the

experiment indicated that 10 students in the experimental

group and 2 in the control group could be placed in an









instructional/independent range of 40-70% comprehension on a

4.3 level story. Kragler (1986) concluded that under-

achievers were able to read and comprehend more difficult

material than as predicted by an administration of a

traditional, static IRI. Emergent Reading Levels more

accurately predict what students can sustain during actual

instruction.

In concluding, the research studies cited (Dixon, 1985;

Dixon et al., 1984a, 1984b; Kragler, 1986; Newman & Powell,

1985) support the Emergent Reading Level construct as a

viable alternative to the traditional IRI for diagnosing and

placing students for reading instruction. However,

reviewers of some of the studies cited here criticized the

research methodology used. Reviewers pointed out that while

Emergent Reading Level may predict higher placements for

students than the Instructional Reading Level of the tradi-

tional IRI, it has not been clearly demonstrated that those

higher placements can be sustained during actual instruc-

tion. In other words, critics argue that the Emergent

Reading Level construct has not been proven valid. The

Kragler (1986) dissertation has been the only study thus far

to provide limited evidence of validity. The present study

attempts to provide additional evidence for the Emergent

Reading Level as a valid predictor of the actual book level

sustained during instruction. The use of the trial reading

procedure will help accomplish this.









Trial Reading Lesson

The concept of trial lessons, also known as "trial

teaching," historically has been suggested and occasionally

used to verify diagnostic findings related to teaching word

recognition skill and to determine which beginning reading

approach is more likely to succeed for which children

(Harris & Roswell, 1953; Mills, 1955; Sullivan, 1951). For

example, diagnosis might reveal that a particular child

learns to read faster when instructed by a whole-word method

as opposed to a phonic method. Verifying this possibility

could be accomplished by trial teaching the child by each

method. Using the trial lesson in this manner has been

developed by Mills (1955) into a standardized technique.

In the literature the trial lesson concept has never,

so far as is known, been formally applied to the areas of

reading comprehension or placement. The experimenter made a

simple modification of the trial lesson concept for verify-

ing students could sustain their book level placements

during actual instruction as predicted by their Emergent

Reading Levels.



Summary of Research

The traditional concept of instructional reading level

is measured by an Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) which

consists of passages of increasing language complexity with

accompanying comprehension questions to be read and answered

by the child without adult prompting or support. The major









standard teachers have used for interpreting the IRI has

been the Betts (1941) criteria. There are many unresolved

issues concerning the IRI's reliability and validity

(Johns & Lunn, 1983; Pikulski, 1974). Homan (1978) found

that the Powell (1971) criteria place students at higher

functional reading levels than do Betts' (1941) criteria.

Powell (1982, 1984) argued that all sets of existing

criteria will underestimate Instructional Reading Level

because the traditional IRI does not include an instruc-

tional dimension in its administration. Powell (1982, 1984)

proposed an alternative construct for placement, the Emer-

gent (mediated) Reading Level, based on Vygotsky's (1962,

1978) concept, the zone of proximal development.

Vygotsky (1896-1934), a Soviet psychologist prominent

for his social cultural theory of cognitive development,

addressed the issues of diagnosis and placement for instruc-

tion (1962, 1978) with the formation of his concept of

emerging mental function--the zone of proximal development--

which focuses on the phase in development in which the child

has only partially mastered a task but can participate in

its execution with the assistance and supervision of an

adult. Vygotsky (1962, 1978) stressed the importance of

distinguishing between a child's actual (unassisted) devel-

opment and potential (assisted) development. Vygotsky's

(1962, 1978) zone of proximal development designates the

child's level of functioning in a mediated situation (i.e.,

under adult guidance or in collaboration with capable peers)









and comes to the surface when the child is engaged in a

highly difficult learning task.

Powell (1982, 1984) maintained that to measure a

child's growth potential for reading instruction, a dynamic

testing versus a static testing style (Budoff, 1972;

Feuerstein, 1979) should be used. Powell (1982, 1984)

outlined the rationale and procedure for measuring Emergent

(mediated) Reading Level which is consistent with Vygotsky's

(1962, 1978) zone of proximal development.

A growing body of research (Dixon, 1985; Dixon et al.,

1984a, 1984b; Kragler, 1986; Newman & Powell, 1985) has

supported the construct of Emergent (mediated) Level as a

viable alternative to the traditional IRI for diagnosing and

placing students for reading instruction. The Emergent

Reading Level has been found to place students higher than

the traditional IRI, but more evidence is needed to estab-

lish validity. The concept of the trial reading lesson

(Harris & Roswell, 1953; Mills, 1955; Sullivan, 1951) mod-

ified and applied to the area of reading placement may help

determine if the Emergent Reading Level is a valid predictor

of placement for classroom reading instruction.
















CHAPTER III

PROCEDURES AND METHODOLOGY



Sample

The 21 second grade students who served as subjects

were volunteers per parental permission and selected from

two classrooms of one urban north Florida elementary school.

The classroom teacher of each student reported the book

level in the Ginn Reading Program (1982) from which the

pupil was placed for reading instruction. The average

current reading placement for the subjects was a grade

equivalent of 2.8, or the latter half of the second grade

book level. The majority of students would be considered on

grade level as the study was conducted in April, the eighth

month of the school year. (See Appendix A for complete

baseline data.)



Instrumentation



I. Static Informal Reading Inventory (IRI)

The Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1981), a pub-

lished IRI, was administered to determine subjects' Instruc-

tional Reading Levels. This test is representative of the

many IRIs currently used for determining book level









placement for classroom reading instruction. It estimates

Instructional Reading Level by determining the subjects'

oral performance on successive passages of increasing

difficulty in terms of both word recognition and comprehen-

sion. Applying the numerical IRI criteria to the results

sets the functional reading levels and determines book level

placement. The administration of the traditional IRI is

described as static or non-mediated because the subject is

tested without adult assistance.

Subjects' Instructional Reading Levels were determined

by the administrative procedures prescribed by the Diag-

nostic Reading Scales Examiner's Manual (Spache, 1981).

However, the researcher rephrased and restated certain

comprehension questions on this test because of the criti-

cism (Tuinman, 1971) that they are not always passage

dependent. The researcher scored correct only those compre-

hension questions judged to be answered on the basis of

reference to information contained in the selections read.

To do otherwise would result in inflated comprehension

scores. In addition, the Spache criteria were not used.

Two Instructional Reading Levels were derived for each

subject by applying different sets of criteria (Betts, 1941;

Powell, 1978) to word recognition and comprehension per-

formance. (See Appendix A for complete data.)









II. Mediated Dynamic IRI

The Diagnostic Reading Scales was also administered to

determine subjects' Emergent Reading Levels, but modifica-

tions in the administration and interpretation were made by

the researcher. Using alternative forms provided in this

test, a mediated situation was added. That is, prior to

subjects' reading of each successive passage during admin-

istration of the dynamic IRI, the researcher provided

assistance. Mediation consisted of instruction similar to

that used in the teaching of a directed reading lesson:

building background, vocabulary recognition, and setting

overall goals for comprehension. The rationale for pro-

viding mediation was to tap students' zones of proximal

development in order to find the level of functioning they

could sustain with adult mediation. (See Appendix B for an

example of the mediated IRI procedure.)



III. Basal Reader with Trial Teaching

Selected expository selections of various difficulty

levels from the Harper and Row Basic Reading Program (1966)

were used as trial teaching lessons. Selections ranged in

length from 450 to 600 words. Subjects silently read from

actual books, not reprints. Subjects were book level placed

for trial reading instruction based upon their Emergent

Reading Levels determined by the administration of the

mediated IRI. Subjects assigned the same Emergent Reading

Level were grouped for trial instruction. For example, all









subjects designated at the third grade book level on the

Emergent Reading Level were grouped and instructed in a

trial reading lesson using a third grade basal selection.

Trial reading lessons for all groups simulated the type of

instruction predominant in American elementary schools. The

Harper and Row Teacher's Manual (1966) guided the lesson

plan for the trial teaching as is the standard classroom

practice. That is, the directed reading activity (i.e.,

building background, vocabulary recognition, and setting

purposes for reading) was used.



IV. Trial Reading Lesson Posttest IRI

In order to determine if subjects could sustain their

Emergent Reading Levels during actual instruction, a post-

test IRI was administered 24 hours after the trial reading

lesson. The posttest IRIs were constructed from the basal

passages used in the trial reading lessons. However, the

researcher made the posttest IRI consistent with the pub-

lished IRI, Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1981) used

previously in the experiment. That is, passage length,

number, and type of accompanying comprehension questions

were made consistent for all IRI testing. The well estab-

lished procedures of Johnson and Kress (1965) were generally

followed in the construction of the posttest IRIs.









Procedure

Each of the 21 second grade subjects was individually

administered the Diagnostic Reading Scales (Spache, 1981), a

published IRI, in the traditional static procedure. Scoring

utilized two differing sets of criteria (Betts, 1941;

Powell, 1978) to determine subjects' Instructional Reading

Levels based upon word recognition and comprehension perfor-

mance.

Two weeks later, each subject was individually adminis-

tered the dynamic, mediated IRI to determine subjects'

Emergent Reading Levels. This procedure involved using

alternate forms of the aforementioned test with the addition

of the mediated situation prior to subjects reading.

Two weeks later, all subjects (n=21) were placed and

grouped for a subsequent trial lesson based on their

Emergent Reading Levels. Reading groups consisted of two to

seven students with identical predicted placements. Trial

lessons, 20 to 35 minutes in length, were conducted by the

researcher and simulated typical instruction advocated by

the basal teacher's manual. A second subsequent trial

reading lesson was conducted a week later by a research

assistant with a smaller sample (n=5).

Subjects' performances on the trial lessons were

assessed by the researcher 24 hours later using individually

administered posttest IRIs constructed from passages read in

the trial lessons.









Administration

All IRIs (i.e., static, dynamic, and post) were admin-

istered by the researcher to insure uniformity. One trial

lesson (n=21) was taught by the researcher. A second trial

lesson (n=5) was taught by a trained research assistant.

The assistant was a certified substitute teacher in the

school where the study was conducted.



Data Analysis

The data collected in this experiment were interpreted

at three levels of analysis: (a) at the reading functioning

level, (b) at the statistical analysis level, and (c) at the

percentage of agreement level. The intent of the analysis

was to determine if the construct, Emergent (mediated)

Reading Level, was a valid placement predictor for the

criterion--actual book 'level sustained during trial instruc-

tion.

The reading functioning level involved determining

instructional reading levels by applying two sets of numer-

ical criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978) to subjects' word

recognition and comprehension percentage performances on

successive passages during the administration of a static

IRI. Emergent Reading Levels were determined based on the

performance on a dynamic, mediated IRI.

The statistical analysis level involved the nonpara-

metric Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test (Huck,

Cormier, & Bounds, 1974; Siegel, 1956). The researcher









chose the use of nonparametric statistics because the data

in the present study did not meet the assumptions of para-

metric statistics. Parametric statistics, such as the

commonly used related sample t-test, assume that the data

are an interval scale of measurement. That is, scaler units

are of equal units whose zero point is arbitrary. In an

interval level of measurement, such as an inch, values are

equal gradation and this standard level can be used as a

basis for comparison. For example, a two-inch line and a

six-inch line are both equally two inches different than a

four-inch line. An inch is an inch regardless. However,

the data in the present study are not interval level but

ordinal level and requires nonparametric statistics.

Ordinal level data are quantified in terms of rank order.

Units are not equal distant. For example, level of

education, elementary, secondary, and college, is at the

ordinal level. The scale of measurement used in the present

study is also ordinal. Grade level placements for reading

instruction are at an ordinal level of measurement. Reading

grade levels are not equal distant values. A difference

between a 4.0 and 5.0 grade level placement is not the same

as the difference between 2.0 and 1.0 grade placements. In

the example, the 1.0 grade level reader would be considered

more deficient in reading than the 4.0 grade level reader.

The Wilcoxon Test, a nonparametric statistic, was used

to compare the difference between each subject's Instruc-

tional Reading Level (non-mediated IRI predicted placement)









and Emergent Reading Level (mediated IRI predicted place-

ment). A second analysis, using the Wilcoxon test, compared

the difference in placement between the two sets of criteria

(Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978).

The third level of analysis involved percentage of

agreement matrixes which showed a variety of comparisons.

The percentage of agreement between the predicted book level

placement derived from the administration of the mediated

IRI and the actual level sustained during a trial reading

lesson was shown. The various predictors of reading place-

ment were compared to show the degree to which similar book

level placements for instruction agreed (i.e., exact same,

within one book level, within two book levels, etc.).

The research hypotheses, stated in the null form, and a

brief explanation of the analysis follow.



Hypothesis I

There is no difference between the Emergent Reading

Level, as measured by a mediated IRI, and the traditional

Instructional Reading Level, as measured by a non-mediated

IRI, in predicting appropriate book level placement for

reading instruction.

The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test was used

to test hypothesis I at a significance level of =.05. The

Wilcoxon test was applied to determine if there was a

statistically significant difference between predicted book








level placement derived from a mediated versus non-mediated

IRI.

In addition, a percentage of agreement matrix was used

as a follow-up test of hypothesis I. The Wilcoxon test,

having shown that the mediated IRI resulted in significantly

higher placements, a follow up comparison was made to show

if the higher placement could actually be sustained.



Hypothesis II

There is no difference between Betts' criteria or

Powell's criteria in predicting appropriate book level

placement for reading instruction.

The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test was used

to test hypothesis II at a significance level of =.05. The

Wilcoxon test was applied to determine if there was a

statistically significant difference between predicted book

level placement derived from a non-mediated IRI applying

Betts' criteria versus Powell's criteria. A percentage of

agreement matrix was used as a follow up test of hypothe-

sis II. The Wilcoxon test, having shown that the Powell

criteria placed subjects significantly higher than the

Betts' criteria, a follow up comparison was made to deter-

mine if the higher placements could actually be sustained.















CHAPTER IV

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION



This study investigated the concurrent validity of the

Emergent (mediated) Reading Level, a construct for reading

placement based upon Vygotsky's concept of the zone of

proximal development applied to the Informal Reading Inven-

tory (IRI). The study attempted to determine which method

of placement, the traditional IRI or the mediated IRI,

better predicted an appropriate book level placement that

would maximize benefit from reading instruction.

An ancillary purpose of the study investigated the IRI

and two types of scoring criteria, Betts (1941) and Powell

(1978), used to select Instructional Reading Levels.



Hypothesis I

Hypothesis I is that there is no difference between the

Emergent Reading Level, as measured by a mediated IRI, and

the traditional Instructional Reading Level, as measured by

a non-mediated IRI, in predicting appropriate book level

placement for reading instruction.









The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test was used

to test the first hypothesis. The results of the sign test

are reported in Table 1. In the first column of Table 1 are

the identification numbers of the 21 second graders involved

in the study. The next two columns list the book level

placements derived from the administration of the mediated

and traditional, non-mediated IRIs--Emergent Reading Level

and Betts' Instructional Reading Level. These placements

are based upon the quantitative analysis of a reader's

performance in word recognition and comprehension. (See

Appendix A for complete student protocols.)

The fourth column, d, is the difference between the

book level placements assigned as the Emergent Reading Level

and the Instructional Reading Level. As can be seen, for

all but two cases or 90% of the time, Emergent Reading

Levels place subjects at higher book levels than do Instruc-

tional Reading Levels.

The next-to-last column (rank of d) are the ranks of

differences. For example, subject #21 showed the least

difference between Emergent Reading Level and Betts'

Instructional Reading Level so is assigned the lowest rank

of one. Conversely, subject #8 showed the largest differ-

ence between Emergent Reading Level and Betts' Instructional

Reading Level and therefore received the highest rank

different of 19. Two subjects, #7 and #19, showed no

difference between Emergent Reading Level and Betts'










Table 1. Comparison of Emergent Reading
Instructional Reading Level.


Level and Betts'


Subject ERL* IRL* d Rank Rank with less
of d frequent sign


17
5.8
14
5.8
3.5
17


19


14
10
17
14
5.8
2.0
11.5
5.8
11.5
5.8
3.5
1.0


* ERL = Emergent Reading Level


= Instructional Reading Level

Wilcoxon T = 0.0*
p < .001


**IRL

Note:








Instructional Reading level (d=0) and therefore are dropped

from the analysis.

The last column, rank with less frequent sign, showed

that there were no differences in the opposite direction.

That is, in no case was a subject's Instructional Reading

Level higher than his or her Emergent Reading Level. The

symbol T is the sum of the smaller like-signed ranks. There

was a statistically significant difference between the

Emergent Reading Level as measured by a mediated IRI and the

traditional instruction reading level as measured by a

non-mediated IRI in assigning book level placement (T=0.00

p.001, n=21), therefore, hypothesis I was rejected.

In showing that Emergent Reading Level resulted in higher

book level placements than Betts' Instructional Reading

Level only partially addressed hypothesis I. It does not

indicate if those higher book level placements are appropri-

ate for instruction. That is, it does not indicate if the

students can sustain the higher placements during actual

reading instruction.

Table 2 displays the percentage of agreement between

Emergent Reading Level and the actual level sustained during

a concurrent trial reading lesson. Performance on the trial

reading lesson was assessed by a posttest IRI constructed

and administered in the traditional manner (Johnson & Kress,

1965). Each student's trial lesson posttest IRI resulted in

a percentage score for both word recognition and compre-

hension. (See Appendix A for complete student protocols.)
















Table 2. Percentage of Agreement Between Emergent Reading
Level and Two Trial Reading Lessons.



Emergent Reading Level


Trial Reading Lesson 1
(Betts)


Trial Reading Lesson 1
(Powell)


100%


Trial Reading Lesson 2
(Betts)


100%


Trial Reading Lesson 2
(Powell)


1 level


Exact


1 level


Exact


100%


100%









Two different sets of criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978)

were applied to each subject's performance in word recogni-

tion and comprehension to evaluate success in sustaining his

or her emergent reading level during a trial lesson.

First, Table 2 shows the application of the Betts'

criteria to students' performances on the first trial lesson

post test IRIs. Percentage of exact agreement between

emergent reading levels and concurrent trial reading lessons

was 71% and within one book level was 100%. In other words,

71% or 16 out of 21 students could sustain their exact

emergent reading levels during a concurrent trial reading

lesson. Only 5 of the 21 students could not sustain their

exact emergent reading level during a trial reading lesson.

However, these 5 students' emergent reading levels are an

overestimate of placement by only one book level.

Next, the Powell criteria for instructional level was

used to evaluate students' performances on the trial lesson

posttest IRIs. Percentage of exact agreement between

emergent reading levels and concurrent trial reading lessons

as 95% and within one book level was 100%. Essentially,

when using the Powell criteria which sets a lower criterion

percentage for comprehension than does the Betts criteria,

almost all of the subjects could sustain their emergent

reading levels during a concurrent trial reading lesson.









Table 2 also shows the percentage of agreement between

Emergent Reading Level and a second concurrent trial reading

lesson. The purpose here was to determine if subjects could

sustain their Emergent Reading Levels over time. This

second trial lesson occurred two weeks after the first one.

Although the sample size was smaller the second time,

reduced from the original 21 to 5 subjects, the results are

in general agreement with the first trial lesson. That is,

80% of the subjects could sustain their Emergent Reading

Levels during a second trial reading lesson. There was no

difference this time whether the Betts or Powell criteria

was used in evaluating the trial reading lesson posttest

IRIs.



Hypothesis II

Hypothesis II is that there is no difference between

the Betts or Powell criteria in predicting appropriate book

level placement for reading instruction. A Wilcoxon

matched-pairs signed ranks test was used to test this

hypothesis. The results of this test are reported in

Table 3.

In the first column of Table 3 are the identification

numbers of the 21 second grade subjects. The next

two columns list the Instructional Reading Levels based on

the Powell and Betts criteria.

The fourth column, d, is the difference between the

Instructional Reading Levels based on the Powell and Betts













Table 3. Comparison of Powell and Betts Criteria.



Subject Powell Betts d Rank Rank with less
of d frequent sign


Wilcoxon T = 0*
p < .02









criteria. The majority of the time (71%) either criteria

results in the same book level placement. However, 29% of

the time or for 6 students the Powell criteria placed

students at higher instructional levels.

The next-to-last column (rank of d) are the ranks of

differences. Subject number 17 was ranked 7th, the highest,

for showing the largest difference in instructional level.

For this student, the Powell criteria resulted in a book

placement one grade level above the Betts instructional

level. Subject number 16 was ranked 1st for showing the

least difference (d=.2) between Powell and Betts

Instructional Reading Levels and was not viewed as a

significant difference in placement.

The last column, rank with less frequent sign, showed

that there were no differences in the opposite direction.

That is, in no case did the Powell criteria result in a

lower instructional level than the Betts criteria. The

symbol T is the sum of the ranks of differences in the

opposite direction. There was a statistically significant

difference between the Powell and Betts criteria in assign-

ing book level placement for instruction (T-0.00 ph.02,

N=21), therefore, hypothesis II was rejected.

The Wilcoxon test showed that the Powell criteria

placed students at a higher instructional level than the

Betts criteria 29% of the time. However, this does not

indicate if Powell's higher book level placements are

appropriate for instruction. That is, can the higher








instructional levels based on the Powell criteria be sus-

tained during actual instruction in a concurrent trial

reading lesson?

Table 4 displays the percentage of agreement between

estimates of Instructional Reading Levels determined by the

Powell and Betts criteria with the actual book levels

sustained during a trial reading lesson. Success on the

trial reading lesson was evaluated by a post test IRI using

the Powell criteria. As previously stated, the Powell

criteria placed students one book level higher than the

Betts criteria 29% of the time. On Table 4, a comparison

between the Betts and Powell criteria with the trial reading

lesson showed that the Powell criteria closer coincided (24%

exact agreement) the trial lesson. That is, the comparisons

supported that the higher instructional levels based on the

Powell criteria can be sustained during actual instruction

during a trial lesson. However, when compared to the

Emergent Reading Level, the Powell criteria is still an

underestimate of what can be sustained during actual

instruction.

The Emergent Reading Level showed the most agreement

with the trial reading lesson (95% exact agreement). The

Emergent Reading Level predicted a book level placement that

is commensurate with the level that can actually be sus-

tained during a concurrent trial reading lesson. Results















Table 4. Percentage of Agreement Among Betts, Powell
Criteria, and Emergent Reading Level with Trial
Reading Lesson.



Range Betts Powell Emergent
of and and and
Agreement TRL* TRL* TRL*


Exact 19% 24% 95%

Within
1 level 52% 67% 100%

Within
2 levels 95% 100%

Within
3 levels 100%


TRL = Trial Reading Lesson.
TRL = Trial Reading Lesson.









indicated that Emergent Reading Level is a valid measure for

predicting book level placement for reading instruction.



Discussion

Table 5 shows the frequency distribution of the various

predictors of reading placement for the 21 second graders

involved in the study. Book level placements determined by

the non-mediated IRIs scored by the Betts and Powell

criteria had instructional level means of 3.0 and 3.2,

respectively. Predicted placements using the non-mediated

IRI ranged from a low of 1.8 to a high of 4.5 with the

majority of the students placed at the 3.5 instructional

level. Emergent Reading Levels determined from the mediated

IRI had a mean of 4.1. Predicted placements ranged from a

low of 2.2 to a high of 5.5. The current mean placement was

2.8. Most of the students were currently placed in the

second book of the second grade level Ginn (1982) basal

reading series. The group would be considered as reading on

grade level because the study was conducted in April, the

eighth month of the school year. However, the Emergent

Reading Levels indicated that the students should have been

placed at higher levels. On the average, Emergent Reading

Levels placed students one year higher than their current

book level placements. Moreover, eight students with

Emergent Reading Levels of 4.5, and four students with 5.5

demonstrated that more than half of the students could read















Table 5. Frequency Distribution
Placement Predictors.


of Various Reading


Book (Non-Mediated) (Mediated)
Level Betts Powell Emergent Current


5.5 0 0 4 0

4.5 0 1 8 0

3.5 10 12 7 6

2.8 6 4 0 12

2.4 1 1 1 0

2.2 2 2 1 1

1.8 2 1 0 2


Mean = 3.0 3.2 4.1 2.8








two to three book levels above their current placements.

Furthermore, concurrent trial reading lessons at those

higher levels indicated that students could sustain the

higher levels. The results of the present study support

Emergent Reading Level as a valid construct for reading

diagnosis and placement.

Findings from the present study also reconfirmed

results of previous investigations of the Emergent Reading

Level (Dixon, 1985; Dixon et al., 1984a, 1984b; Kragler,

1986; Newman & Powell, 1985) as a viable placement

construct. Dixon, et al. (1984b) in a study involving

third, fifth, and sixth graders using expository and

narrative materials found that students given mediation

could read and comprehend materials two grade levels above

their current grade placements. Dixon (1985) in a recent

study involving third graders replicated previous findings.

Newman and Powell (1985) investigated the usefulness of the

Emergent Reading construct for fourth grade, Chapter One,

low SES students. Their results showed that the students

given mediation could on the average maintain 70%

comprehension of narrative passages that were mainly one to

two grade levels above current placement.

The present study showed evidence for the concurrent

validity of the construct Emergent Reading Level. It was

shown that children's predicted placements, two grade levels

(and above) their current placements could be sustained

during actual instruction. This finding reconfirmed








Kragler's (1986) initial attempt at concurrently validating

Emergent Reading Level. Kragler (1986) provided concurrent

validity evidence by demonstrating even underachievers could

sustain their predicted higher Emergent Reading Level

placements during actual instruction.

Mediation, in the present study, which emphasized

vocabulary development, building background, and setting

purposes for reading proved effective in tapping students'

zones of proximal development. Recent studies (Dixon, 1985;

Kragler, 1986) corroborate vocabulary development and

building background as effective mediation.

An ancillary intent of the present study addressed

two types of scoring criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978).

Results showed that the Powell criteria placed students at a

higher Instructional Reading Level than the Betts criteria

29% of the time. Homan (1978), in a previous study, found

that Powell's criteria resulted in higher Instructional

Reading Levels 49% of the time. That Homan (1978) found the

Powell criteria resulted in higher placements more of the

time than in the present study may be due to differences in

the samples and procedures used in each of the studies. The

present study involved a sample of 21 second graders.

Homan's (1978) study involved a larger, more diverse sample

of 107 students in grades two through six. The present

study used a different IRI which consisted of seven compre-

hension questions following each successive passage. Homan








(1978) used an IRI consisting of five comprehension ques-

tions.

In respect to the criteria issue, the present study

showed that both Betts' (1941) and Powell's (1978) criteria

compared to Emergent Reading Level drastically underestimate

reading placement. Dixon (1985) corroborated this finding

and previously indicated that both sets of criteria (Betts,

1941; Powell, 1978) failed to identify the upper threshold

of students' zones of proximal development for reading.

Dixon's (1985) recommendation of using an adjusted compre-

hension error range criteria (i.e., 50% to 85% accuracy at

passage levels four and five and 55% to 90% accuracy at

passage levels six and seven) for setting Emergent Reading

Levels was supported by findings of the present study.

In summary, the present study was in agreement with a

growing body of research supporting the validity of the

construct, Emergent (mediated) Reading Level as a viable

method of diagnosis and placement for reading instruction.















CHAPTER V

SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS



Summary

The Informal Reading Inventory (IRI), introduced by

Betts (1941), has traditionally been widely recommended as a

method to establish Instructional Reading Level, that is; to

predict the highest level of book in which a child can

profit from instruction. This study's purpose was to

investigate the concurrent validity of a new construct for

placement proposed by Powell (1982, 1984)--the Emergent

(mediated) Reading Level. This construct is an alternative

method of administering and interpreting the IRI which

focuses on identifying the level of reading performance a

child can achieve with adult support and is based upon the

Soviet psychologist, L. S. Vygotsky's (1962, 1978) concept

of the zone of proximal development.

This study was an attempt to determine which method of

placement, the traditional IRI or the newly proposed,

mediated IRI better predicted an appropriate book level

placement that would maximize benefit from reading instruc-

tion. An ancillary purpose of the study involved the IRI

and two types of scoring criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell,

1978) used to select Instructional Reading Levels.








The 21 second graders who served as subjects for the

study had an average grade level reading placement of 2.8

and were drawn from two classrooms of an urban north Florida

elementary school. The majority of students were currently

(April, 1985) placed in the latter half of the second grade

book level in the Ginn Reading Program (1982).

Each student's Instructional Reading Level was deter-

mined by the administration of an IRI, Diagnostic Reading

Scales (Spache, 1981) in the traditional static method of

testing. Students answered a pre-specified percentage of

questions with a specified criterion level of oral reading

proficiency without any adult assistance. Scoring utilized

two differing sets of criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978).

Each student's Emergent (mediated) Reading Level was

determined by the administration of an IRI in the dynamic

method of testing. Students were administered alternate

forms of the Diagnostic Reading Scale (Spache, 1981) with

the addition of the mediated situation. Mediation consisted

of the researcher building background, defining unfamiliar

vocabulary, and setting overall goals for comprehension

prior to students reading and answering questions on each

IRI passage.

All subjects (n=21) were placed and grouped for subse-

quent trial lessons in the Harper and Row Basic Reading

Program (1966) at their Emergent Reading Levels as predicted

from the administration of the mediated IRI. A second trial

reading lesson was conducted with a smaller sample (n=5).








Trial lessons simulated typical classroom reading instruc-

tion. Subjects' performances on the trial lessons were

assessed by posttest IRIs constructed from the selections

used for the trial lessons.

Data were analyzed to determine if the construct,

Emergent (mediated) Reading Level was a valid placement

predictor for the book level that was actually sustained

during a concurrent trial lesson. Two hypotheses were

tested at the .05 level of significance in the study.

1. Hypothesis I stated that there would be no differ-

ence between the Emergent Reading Level, as measured by a

mediated IRI, and the traditional Instructional Reading

Level, as measured by a non-mediated IRI, in predicting

appropriate book level placement for reading instruction.

The nonparametric Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test

was used to compare the difference between each subject's

Instructional Reading Level and Emergent Reading Level.

Hypothesis I was rejected and differences were shown to be

statistically significant. Ninety percent of the time,

Emergent Reading Levels placed subjects at substantially

higher book levels than did Instructional Reading Levels.

On the average, Emergent Reading Levels predicted placements

for students one year higher than the traditional Instruc-

tional Reading Levels. Moreover, of the total 21 second

graders involved in the study, eight students had Emergent

Reading Levels of 4.5, and four students at 5.5, demonstrat-

ing that more than half of the students could read two to








three book levels above their current placements. A follow

up analysis was conducted to determine if subjects could

sustain their higher predicted book level placements (i.e.,

Emergent Reading Levels) during actual reading instruction.

Percentage of agreement between Emergent Reading Level and

level sustained during a concurrent trial reading lesson as

measured by a posttest IRI was found to be high. Exact

agreement between Emergent Reading Level and level sustained

on a trial lesson was 71% or 95%, depending on which respec-

tive criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978) was applied to the

trial lesson posttest IRI. An 80% exact agreement between

Emergent Reading Level and a second subsequent trial lesson

with a smaller sample (n=5) showed that the higher predicted

placements could be sustained over time.

2. Hypothesis II stated that there would be no differ-

ence between the Betts (1941) or Powell (1978) criteria in

predicting appropriate book level placement for reading

instruction. A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test was

used to test this hypothesis. Hypothesis II was rejected

and differences were shown to be statistically significant.

Twenty-nine percent of the time, or for 6 out of the

21 total subjects, the Powell (1978) criteria placed stu-

dents one book level higher than the Betts' (1941) criteria.

The majority of the time either criteria resulted in the

same placement.

A follow up percentage of agreement analysis showed

that the higher instructional levels based on the Powell








criteria could be sustained during actual instruction during

a trial lesson. However, Powell's criteria compared to the

Emergent Reading Level was an underestimate of placement.

The Emergent Reading Level showed the most agreement with

the trial reading lesson (95% exact agreement).



Conclusions

Data from this study provided evidence for the concur-

rent validity of the Emergent (mediated) Reading Level, a

new construct for placement proposed by Powell (1982, 1984).

The major question addressed in the study was which method

of placement, the traditional IRI or the mediated IRI,

better predicted an appropriate book level placement that

will maximize benefit from reading instruction? The data

indicated that Emergent Reading Level as measured by a

mediated IRI better predicted placement than did the tradi-

tional IRI. Emergent (mediated) Levels predicted that

second graders would profit from instruction to the fourth

grade book level and beyond. In fact, for more than half of

the students, Emergent Reading Levels predicted placements

two to three book levels above their current placements.

The students' successful performance on concurrent trial

reading lessons at their Emergent Reading Levels verified

the accuracy of their predicted placements. Successful

performances of students on a second trial reading lesson

suggested that the levels can be sustained over time.

Instructional Reading Levels as measured by the traditional








IRI underestimated reading placements by as much as

three book levels. Students' Instructional Reading Levels

did not closely coincide with the levels they demonstrated

they could sustain concurrently on trial reading lessons.

A second question addressed in this study was which

numerical criteria (Betts, 1941; Powell, 1978) for estab-

lishing a reader's instructional level through the adminis-

tration of an IRI is best for determining appropriate book

level placement? The data indicated that the Powell crite-

ria were a more accurate predictor of placement. The Powell

criteria resulted in higher placements than the Betts'

criteria. However, the Powell criteria, as well as the

Betts criteria, substantially underestimated placement when

compared to the Emergent Reading Level.



Recommendations

Placement of children into reading materials that will

insure optimum progress should be a vital concern. Children

underplaced for classroom reading instruction are likely to

be robbed intellectually. Failure to challenge students and

engage them in materials that "grab their minds" could be

regarded by some as educational malpractice.

The present study, along with a growing body of reading

research (Dixon, 1985; Dixon et al., 1984a, 1984b; Kragler,

1986; Newman & Powell, 1985), as well as extensive psycho-

logical research as reviewed by Rogoff and Wertsch (1984),

support the effectiveness of Vygotsky's perspective on









educational diagnosis based on the concept of the zone of

proximal development. Diagnosis and placement by Emergent

Reading Levels insure optimum reading growth by teaching

upward to the child's developing cognitive processes.

Instructional Reading Level as determined by administration

of the traditional IRI results in underplacement because it

ignores the instructional dimension of a developmental

reading context.

Theory once established should lead to practice.

Current procedures now used to place children for reading

instruction are likely to result in underplacement and

therefore should be seriously questioned, if not abandoned.

A dynamic assessment model such as Emergent (mediated)

Reading Level should be implemented. In addition, classroom

teachers are encouraged to question their pupils' current

placements for reading instruction. Teachers can verify the

validity of designated placements by actually trial teaching

pupils upward on successive levels of reading materials and

assessing performance. Adjustment in students' book level

placements should be made to insure optimum progress.

















APPENDIX A


STUDENT PROTOCOLS: NON-MEDIATED IRI, MEDIATED IRI,
TRIAL LESSON POST-TEST IRI, BETTS' AND POWELL'S
CRITERIA APPLIED, EMERGENT READING LEVEL, AND
BASELINE DATA


Case 1


Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.4 97.56 88
2.8 96.63 100
3.5 97.53 94
4.5 93.95 50


Betts' '
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

106


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




4.5 97.81 63
5.5 92.78 50


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%





5.5 96.35 93


Emergent
Reading
Level


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

2-2


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

3.2









Case 2

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.8 100 100
3.5 96.91 75
4.5 94.41 31
5.5 94.61 56
6.5 91.74 12


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

111


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 98.49 88
5.5 94.23 19


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 98.33 63
4.5 98.23 88


Emergent
Reading
Level


4.5


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

3-1


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

2.8


Case 3

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.8 97.47 100
3.5 97.53 38
4.5 96.74 25



Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.8 2.8


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 97.81 50



Emergent
Reading
Level


4.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 98.31 100
4.5 98.75 94


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

124 3 3-1 3.9
-- --------------------------------------------------------









Case 4

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

3.5 100 100
4.5 96.74 38
5.5 92.33 44
6.5 93.11 13


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

3.5 3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

114


Case 5

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.2 100 88
2.4 100 75
2.8 100 75
3.5 96.91 50
4.5 98.60 44
5.5 99.02 38


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.8 2.8


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%


4.5 99.27 100
5.5 97.59 25



Emergent
Reading
Level


4.5


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

4


Current
Placement
Level

4


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 100 100
4.5 100 13



Emergent
Reading
Level


3.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%


4.5 97.08 88
4.5 97.34 75


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

4.9


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%


3.5 100


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

119 3 2-2 3.7









Case 6

Non-Mediated IRI Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.% Level W.R.% Comp.%


100
99.15
96.91
96.74
97.57
94.95


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


4.5 98.54 69
5.5 98.55 50


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%





5.5 98.43 63


Emergent
Reading
Level


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

136


Case 7

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.8 94.95 88
3.5 95.06 81
4.5 93.95 50


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

3-1


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 95.62 25
5.5 91.82 31


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

3.1


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%


3.5 98.97 100


Emergent
Reading
Level


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level


Current
Placement
Level


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level


196 3 2-2 3.7
------------------------------------------------------









Case 8

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.8 99.15 100
3.5 98.14 63
4.5 97.20 50
5.5 95.63 25


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.8 3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

108


Case 9

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.2 100 86
2.4 99.18 75
2.8 98.31 75
3.5 98.14 81
4.5 96.74 38
5.5 95.63 38


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

3.5 3.5


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



4.5 97.98 63
5.5 96.63 63


Emergent
Reading
Level


5.5


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

3-1


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%





4.5 99.27 25
5.5 99.24 44


Emergent
Reading
Level


3.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




5.5 97.91 63


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

3.1


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 99.39 88


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

132 5 2-2 11.2
-- --------------------------------------------------------









Case 10

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.8 100 88
3.5 98.14 62
4.5 97.20 0
5.5 96.68 38
6.5 96.78 13


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

2.8


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%


4.5 98.99 63 4.5 100 75
5.5 99.03 38 4.5 99.17 75


Emergent
Reading
Level


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

106


Case 11

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%


98.76
98.37
99.15
95.67
97.20


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

2.4


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

2.8


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

4


Current
Placement
Level

3-1


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 98.14 56
4.5 97.48 13


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

5.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 98.79 79


Emergent
Reading
Level


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level


Current
Placement
Level


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level


90 4 2-2 4.4
----------------------------------------------------









Case 12

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.4 100 100
2.8 97.47 100
3.5 98.76 88
4.5 94.41 38



Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

3.5 3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

123


Case 13

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.4 98 100
2.8 98.31 100
3.5 95.02 60
4.5 95.34 25


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.8 3.5


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




4.5 97.08 88
5.5 96.15 69


Emergent
Reading
Level


5.5


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

5


Current
Placement
Level

3-1


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



3.5 98.14 100
4.5 95.47 60


Emergent
Reading
Level


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%





5.5 98.95 100


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

8.9


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




4.5 98.67 100


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

121 4 2-2 6.3
-- --------------------------------------------------------








Case 14

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.4 100 100
2.8 100 75
3.5 100 88
4.5 98.60 31
5.5 96.68 38


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

3.5 3.5


Otis-Lennon
School Ability ]
Index I

103



Case 15

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

1.6 100 88
1.8 98.75 86
2.2 96.29 71
2.4 91.86 38


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

1.8 2.2


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




4.5 98.49 75
5.5 99.03 31


Emergent
Reading
Level


metropolitan
Instructional
.evel

4


Current
Placement
Level

2-2


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




2.4 96.14 75


Emergent
Reading
Level


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%


4.5 100


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

6.3


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




2.4 96.22 88


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

110 2 1-2 2.2









Case 16

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.2 87.53 86
2.4 93.49 63
2.8 88.23 56




Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.2 2.4


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

112


Case 17

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.2 98.76 100
2.4 99.18 100
2.8 96.63 100
3.5 93.82 100
4.5 93.48 63



Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



2.8 100 88
3.5 98.14 100
4.5 95.62 6


Emergent
Reading
Level


3.5


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

1-2


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%





4.5 97.08 75
5.5 -- --


Emergent
Reading
Level


4.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 95.18 100


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

3.1


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%





4.5 97.08 88


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

117 5 2-2 8.9









Case 18

Non-Mediated IRI Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.% Level W.R.% Comp.%


2.2 97.53
2.4 100
2.8 99.15
3.5 96.29


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

2.2


99.21
98.21
98.53
99.27


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

2.2


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




3.5 98.19 81


Emergent
Reading
Level


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

91


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

2-2


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

3.0


Case 19

Non-Mediated IRI Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.% Level W.R.% Comp.%


96
95.93
97.47
92.59


Betts'
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


3.5 95.06 81
4.5 94.97 63


Powell
Instruc-
tional
Level

3.5


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%





4.5 93.33 50
4.5 95.57 56


Emergent
Reading
Level


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index


Metropolitan
Instructional
Level


Current
Placement
Level


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level


94 3 2-2 3.4









Case 20

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

2.4 99.18 75
2.8 97.47 75
3.5 97.53 50
4.5 93.95 25


Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

2.8 2.8


Otis-Lennon
School Ability
Index

84


Case 21

Non-Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%

1.4 100 86
1.6 91 100
1.8 93.75 100
2.2 85.18 71



Betts' Powell
Instruc- Instruc-
tional tional
Level Level

1.8 1.8


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%



3.5 97.53 100
4.5 98.54 38


Emergent
Reading
Level


metropolitan
Instructional
Level

3


Current
Placement
Level

2-2


Mediated IRI
Level W.R.% Comp.%




2.2 87.17 86
2.4 -- --


Emergent
Reading
Level


2.2


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%



3.5 98.19 63


Metropolitan
Reading
Grade
Level

2.9


Trial Lesson
Post-Test
Level W.R.% Comp.%




2.2 94.33 86


Metropolitan
Otis-Lennon Metropolitan Current Reading
School Ability Instructional Placement Grade
Index Level Level Level

103 1 2-1 2.2
















APPENDIX B

MEDIATED IRI PROCEDURE FOR PASSAGE 5B OF Diagnostic
Reading Scales (Spache, 1981, pg. 23)



Summary of IRI Passage: This expository passage at the

5.5 grade level, 202 words in length, describes how and why

flowers produce seeds. Various examples from nature are

cited: poppy and grass flowers, pine, and cottonwood, and

willow trees. For example, the pine tree's seeds are

produced in cones. Grasses produce their seeds in tiny

flowers.

Introduce Vocabulary: Using a readability word list, select

the five most difficult words from the passage. Before the

child orally reads the passage the examiner introduces the

vocabulary.

Write the words on the board: Poppies produce seeds

cottonwood bright-colored

The examiner writes and reads the following sentences. The

child orally reads too and then underlines the selected

vocabulary: Poppies are beautiful flowers.

Trees produce small flowers too.

Flowers may produce seeds.

Cottonwood trees have flowers.

Not all flowers are bight-colored.




76



Build Background and Set Purpose: Prior to the child orally

reading the passage the examiner discusses background

concepts contained in the selection and then sets a purpose:

Have you ever worked in a garden?

What things can you plant?

What tools do you use in the garden?

Read this passage to find out where flowers

come from.















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Nile Stanley was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on

September 9, 1954. He grew up in West Virginia, South

Carolina, New York, and Delaware. He graduated from Mount

Pleasant High School in Wilmington, Delaware in 1972. Nile

received his Bachelor of Science in English education in

1977, and Master of Education degree in reading in 1979 from

the University of Delaware. Nile was active in broadcasting

and did a jazz radio show for five years on WXDR, 91.3 FM at

the University of Delaware. He taught English and reading

for two years at Middletown High School in Delaware. He has

worked privately as a reading specialist for a number of

years. In 1986, Nile completed a Ph.D. in Instruction and

Curriculum with a specialization in reading at the.

University of Florida. Currently, Nile and his wife Laurel

live in Gainesville, Florida.








I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




William R. Powell, Chairman
Professor of Instruction and
Curriculum


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Edward Turner
Associate Professor of
Instruction and Curriculum


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Jan Larsen
P ofsbr of o ns lor
education


This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was
accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



May, 1986 J f
-Dean, College of Educabdn


Dean, Graduate School




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