ERIC Number: ED429270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-1
Text Matters in Learning to Read.
Hiebert, Elfrieda H.
A study examined the opportunities provided by several types of text for beginning readers to learn about three aspects of written English: (1) consistent, common letter-sound patterns; (2) the most frequent words; and (3) the contexts of sentences and texts. Results indicate that texts based on high-frequency words give beginning readers ample opportunity to learn highly frequent words but may impede use of letter-sound knowledge because of the irregular patterns of many of these words. While phonetically regular texts compensate for this problem, occasions for developing fluency with high-frequency words may be few. Texts chosen for literary merit or predictable sentence and text patterns compensate for these problems by providing natural language, a close picture-text match, and predictable text structure, but the variety of different high-frequency and phonetically regular words in literature and little books make these texts demanding for beginning readers. Results also indicated that beginning readers require texts that allow them to become proficient with all three aspects of written English. Findings suggest that such experiences can be provided in two ways: all three of the "single-criterion" texts can be used in first-grade programs, or multiple-criteria texts modeled after some of Dr. Seuss's books can be developed. Contains 53 references and 2 tables and a figure of data. (RS)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Childrens Literature, Content Analysis, Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence, Primary Education, Reading Material Selection, Reading Research, Text Structure
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259; Web site: www.ciera.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor, MI.