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Title: Capturing reading strategies in young children
Author: Coyne, E. J.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2011
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Traditional models of children’s reading, based on fixed invariant stages, have proved less than adequate in explaining the flexibility in which children approach the task of learning to read. One way to examine emergent reading is to focus on the child’s strategy use as a discrete measure of early reading development. However, the exploration of such strategy use within the domain of reading is a relatively new area of research. This current research adds to that burgeoning debate and presents evidence of young children’s strategy use and the implications for current theories of reading development. Study One examined the validity of verbal self-reports as a way of capturing early word reading strategies by assessing the veridicality and reactivity of verbal self-reports. Study Two explored children’s sensitivity to rime unit frequencies and how this can shift their reliance on certain word reading strategies. Study Three provided an in-depth examination of reading errors in young children to capture a more detailed account of the processes involved in early word-reading. Study Four used a repeated measures study that examined adaptability in children’s reading strategy performance over one academic term. Through an analysis of strategy use and error analysis, Study Four provided a greater understanding of children’s reliance on using lexical and non-lexical strategies. Overall, the results showed that verbal self-reports remain valid and that children were able to accurately verbalise their processing. Children’s strategy use was found to be variable and flexible over time and strategy choice was dependent on children’s sensitivity to underlying orthographic features (including rime unit frequency and grapheme-to-phoneme regularity). The conclusion from this research is that children’s reading is more flexible than the original stage models portray and is in line with phase models of reading development which allow children to progress or regress in their choice of strategy as needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available