Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #283
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analytic Advances in Reading Instruction
Sunday, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Weber (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Weber, Ph.D.

What we know about a child's reading level in early grades is a significant predictor of future educational outcomes. There is a need for scientifically based instruction in order to teach children fluent reader behavior. We present 4 papers that address new behavior analytic advances in acquiring fluent reader repertoires. The first paper reports the effects of a reader immersion procedure on increasing students' comprehension repertoires. This paper extends findings on effective reading interventions to increase untaught reading comprehension responses. The second paper reports the effects of the Corrective Reading curriculum to increase derived relations responses, reading comprehension, and metaphor responses for first grade students. The third paper tested for the effects of the Naming capability and presence of visual stimulus on students' reading comprehension repertoires for third and fourth grade students. Results demonstrated a discrepancy between the presence and absence of visual stimuli on reading comprehension for students performing below grade level. The fourth paper demonstrates that scientifically based instruction and curriculum is critical in order to teach children fluent reader repertoires. All findings will be discussed in terms of new behavior analytic advances for reading instruction.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Naming, Reading Comprehension

The Effects of a Reader Immersion Procedure on the Accurate Comprehension and Technical Writing Responses of Kindergarten and First Grade Students

MICHELLE MACKEY (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

I conducted an experiment in which I tested the effects of a reader immersion procedure on the untaught reading comprehension responses of Kindergarten and 1st grade students. The dependent variables were untaught reading comprehension responses for 4 reading tasks. The reading tasks included 1) a 10-step read and build task 2) a 10-step read and draw task, 3) a 20-step read and build task and 4) a 20-step read and draw task. The participants selected for this study were able to textually respond to words at a rate of 80 words per minute with 0 incorrect words per minute. They had acquired verbal capabilities such as incidental language learning and observational learning. However, they were unable to complete reading comprehension tasks for read and build and/or read and draw tasks with at least 80 percent accuracy. The independent variable was a reader immersion procedure. During the intervention sessions, participants could access reinforcement only after they read directions and completed each corresponding action with 100 percent accuracy. Criterion for mastery of the reading immersion procedure was 100 percent accuracy across 1 intervention session. Following the intervention, the number of untaught reading comprehension responses increased for all participants.

The Effects of Corrective Reading on the Number of Correct Derived Relation and Metaphor Responses in First Grade Students
VANESSA LAURENT (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I conducted 2 experiments to analyze the effects of a reading curriculum, Corrective Reading, which has a sequence that appears to train derived relations, on the emission of (a) derived relations defined as combinatorial entailment in Relational Frame Theory and (b) metaphor with first grade students. In Experiment 1, I compared Corrective Reading to a well-known controlled reading curriculum; RAZ Kids and I used an experimental control group design (simultaneous treatment) with a crossover feature. I selected 14 participants, who were randomly assigned into 2 groups of 7. Both groups received 203 matched instructional-trials, and then were post-tested. Upon completion of the Post-intervention-1 probes, both groups were placed in the alternative condition, where the experimental group received RAZ Kids instruction, and the initial control group received Corrective Reading instruction. Both groups increased in number of correct responses following the Corrective Reading intervention. The data were analyzed between groups using a parametric independent-samples t-test and the results showed significant differences in correct responding between both groups following Corrective Reading. In Experiment 2, I used a delayed multiple probe design across 2 first-grade dyads to test the effects of the same curriculum on the same dependent measures. At the onset of the study both dyads received pre-intervention probes to measure the number of correct responses across the dependent measures. Subsequently, Dyad 1 was instructed 5 lessons of Corrective Reading. Following Dyad 1’s intervention, Dyad 1 was post-tested and Dyad 2 received a second pre-intervention probe. Dyad 2 was then was placed in the Corrective Reading condition. Following Dyad 2’s intervention, both dyads were post-tested. The results showed that Corrective Reading was effective in increasing the number of correct derived relation responses, metaphor responses, and comprehension responses for both dyads.
The Effects of Reading With and Without Pictures on Written Comprehension
KELLY MERCORELLA (Teachers College Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: In two experiments, I tested for the presence of the naming capability, the participants’ ability to accurately draw the stimuli learned in the absence of the visual stimulus, and participants’ comprehension of texts with and without pictures present. In Experiment 1, I tested for the presence of naming and the ability to draw the stimuli presented during the naming experience in 22 third and fourth grade participants. Results demonstrated that fewer instances of the naming capability, as well as the drawing component, were seen in below grade-level readers, than on or above grade-level readers. I hypothesized that differences in reading performance may be due to the students’ inability to emit production responses, such as drawing, writing, and speaking. Experiment 2 assessed whether or not the presence of visual stimuli during reading has an effect on the target participants’ comprehension of a story, as well as if the presence of the speaker component of naming and the drawing component had an effect on comprehension. Results demonstrated that there were significant differences in comprehension scores without pictures present between below grade-level students and students performing on or above grade level (F(2,23)=10.516 p<.001). Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between comprehension scores and the number of components drawn correctly (r (21) = .576, p < .004). These results are consistent with the theory that visualization of events and characters is a necessary factor in facilitating reading comprehension.

The Effects of the Corrective Reading Program on Increasing Reading Repertoires With Students in an Accelerated Independent Learner Classroom

Jo Ann Pereira Delgado Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jennifer Weber (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), JESSICA SINGER-DUDEK (Teachers College, Columbia University)

We tested the effects of Corrective Reading (CR) on students in an inclusive setting who were identified as reading below proficient across third, fourth, and fifth grade CABAS Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) classrooms, that utilized behavioral principles to teach children with and without disabilities. In the initial study, 26 participants received Corrective Reading intervention, and were matched to 23 students that functioned at similar levels academically, throughout the school. Overall, children who received four months of Direct Instruction intervention with the use of behavioral tactics, increased their grade level equivalence in comparison to the control group. A follow up study was conducted with 16 participants. 8 of the participants continued to receive an additional seven months of Corrective Reading Intervention. A year follow up post-probe was conducted for both groups. The results of the follow up study identified that students who continued to receive Corrective Reading intervention in the AIL setting made more significant gains than students who were in the control group. The follow up study demonstrates a need for scientifcally based procedures and curriculum to address students that are not proficient readers.




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