Self-teaching vs. others-teaching: Does measuring orthographic learning process via dynamic decoding assessment help with early prediction of word reading difficulties?

Self-teaching vs. others-teaching: Does measuring orthographic learning process via dynamic decoding assessment help with early prediction of word reading difficulties?

First Author: Eunsoo Cho -- Michigan State University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Donald D. Compton
Keywords: Dynamic assessment, Word recognition processes, Self-teaching, Assessment, Orthographic learning
Abstract / Summary: 

Difficulties in developing automatic word recognition skill is one of the hallmarks of students with reading disabilities. The process through which beginning readers develop high quality lexical representation is detailed in the self-teaching hypothesis (Share, 1995). Although necessary, well developed phonological decoding is not a sufficient condition for self-teaching process to take place. Readers must apply and transfer their decoding skill in reading novel words.
In this study, dynamic decoding assessment (DDA) in which first grade students were asked to learn novel orthography associated with English sounds and to transfer their learning to reading words in the newly learned orthography. During the DDA, students received instructional prompts that gradually becomes explicit until they show successful transfer of the newly learned decoding skill to reading words. The amount of instructional support indexed the individual differences in the ability to self-teach themselves in the process of learning to read.
Results from latent change score modeling indicate the DDA is associated with growth in word reading skill (orthographic learning) but not with arithmetic skill growth made during first grade. Furthermore, DDA made significant contributions to word reading skill growth beyond general intelligence and current level of decoding skill as well as beyond phonological awareness, rapid naming, and teacher-rated inattention. The result suggest DDA measures a distinct and necessary construct in orthographic learning and provides empirical support for using DDA as a direct measure of growth measure in multivariate screening battery for early prediction of reading disabilities.