Predicting Future Reading Risk Based on Profiles of Word Reading Skill: Implications for Instruction

Predicting Future Reading Risk Based on Profiles of Word Reading Skill: Implications for Instruction

First Author: Marissa Pilger Suhr -- Center on Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Assessment, Phonological processing, Word reading skills, orthographic processing, Struggling reader subgroups
Abstract / Summary: 

Study Purpose
Universal screeners target a range of early reading skills, with little guidance regarding how to interpret variable performance across subtests for decision-making. Sight word reading and decoding screening measures align with Ehri’s theory of sight word reading development, in which students approach word reading through both orthographic and phonological processes in tandem (Ehri, 1992). We evaluate the potential benefit of using both sight word reading and decoding measures for decision-making through the following research questions: (1) What student word reading risk profiles emerge based on fall performance on sight word reading and decoding measures?; (2) For each student risk profile, what is the likelihood of performing above the spring benchmark cut-score on a measure of oral reading fluency?
Method
The current study includes data from 5071 2nd and 3rd grade students. Participants were administered DIBELS 8th Edition Word Reading Fluency (WRF), Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF), and Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) measures in the fall and spring. Risk profiles for WRF and NWF were created using contingency tables. A logistic regression analysis will be specified predicting spring ORF benchmark status using empirically observed risk profile as predictor with no risk across measures as reference group.
Results
Most students who showed risk on one measure showed risk on both NWF and WRF. We expect students with this risk profile to have the highest likelihood of performing below benchmark on Spring ORF. Smaller subgroups of students demonstrated risk on just WRF or NWF. We expect that students with decoding difficulties will have a greater likelihood of performing below benchmark on Spring ORF than students with sight word difficulties.
Conclusions
Study findings will inform recommendations for assigning students to supplemental instruction and instructional planning based on risk profiles to support students' unique word reading difficulties.