ERIC Number: ED436754
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec-1
Reference Count: N/A
Literature Anthologies: The Task for First-Grade Readers.
Menton, Shailaja; Hiebert, Elfrieda H.
A study considered the tasks for beginning readers posed by currently available beginning reading programs. A set of guidelines for evaluating beginning reading texts was identified. According to the model used, such texts should be "engaging, accessible, and generalizable." These guidelines were used to examine the literature components of these influential first-grade reading programs--a Literature-Core (LC), a mixed Literature/Phonics (LP), and a Phonics-Core (PC) program. The study found that (1) all three programs rated favorably on the content portion of the "engagingness" scale, though the LC program rated higher in terms of language and design; (2) none of the texts proved to be very accessible; and (3) all of the programs introduce children to most of the 100 most frequent words in English. Even the very early texts, however, introduce children to a large number of rimes without providing many repetitions of them, which renders the text less generalizable. As a group, these three programs do not attend to text characteristics that are crucial in promoting reading acquisition. If struggling readers are not to be left behind, these issues must be addressed before early reading texts are published and selected. Contains 2 figures, 7 tables of data, and 41 references. Appendix A contains "Text Engagingness Rating Scales"; Appendix B lists the "100 Most Highly Frequent Words in English"; and Appendix C contains the "Description of Decodability Levels." (NKA)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Grade 1, Primary Education, Reader Text Relationship, Reading Programs, Reading Research, Text Structure, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., Rm. 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259. Tel: 734-647-6940; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
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.