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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #489
CE Offered: BACB
Reading Interventions for Struggling Readers: Training and Instructional Procedures
Monday, May 25, 2020
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence E
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ariana D'Arms (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Denise Ross (Western Michigan University )
CE Instructor: Denise Ross, Ph.D.

Nationally, approximately 60% of fourth grade and eighth grade students read at or below a basic level (U.S. Department of Education, 2019), which places them at a greater risk for negative social and academic outcomes both during school and after completing school (Hernandez, 2012). The studies in this symposium present four interventions to improve reading outcomes for older students with reading delays and to deliver training procedures to the teachers who instruct struggling readers. Interventions include: 1) book conditioning procedures to increase the value of reading for middle school students, 2) self-monitoring procedures to increase reading comprehension for elementary school students, 3) video-observation procedures to train graduate student tutors to implement reading curricula , and 4) behavioral skills training to train adult education tutors to teach parents with low literacy. Results of each intervention are discussed in terms of their practical implications for reading instruction for struggling readers.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Graduate students, supervisors, teachers, BCBAs


The Effectiveness of Oral Retelling as a Reading Comprehension Strategy for Elementary Students With Reading Delays

BRANDI FONTENOT (Community Living Options Transitions of Kalamazoo )

Comprehension is an essential component of reading proficiency that produces long-term gains for learners. However, many upper elementary school-age children struggle with reading comprehension. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of a self-monitoring intervention on reading comprehension for three elementary school-age children with reading delays. Two studies were conducted. In Study 1, behavioral skills training was used to teach participants the elements of a story retell and how-to self-monitor their own story retells. In Study 2, a multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of self-monitoring on four dependent variables: a) oral retell accuracy, b) oral retell fluency, c) oral reading fluency, and d) responses to comprehension questions. Results of Study 1 suggest that behavioral skills training was used to effectively teach the elements of a story retell and self-monitoring to all three participants. Results of Study 2 suggest that self-monitoring increased oral retelling fluency, oral retelling accuracy, and reading comprehension. Few differences were observed for oral reading fluency. Results, limitations, and implications for reading instruction are discussed.  


A Comparison of the Effects of Sustained Silent Reading and Reciprocal Reading on Reading Motivation for Middle School Students With Reading Delays

MARGARET UWAYO (First Leap Pediatric Therapy)

Research suggests that secondary students with reading delays may lack reading motivation, which can be defined as the temporal reinforcement value of texts for an individual. However, reading motivation may be a critical component of their acquisition of reading proficiency. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of two research-based reading interventions - sustained silent reading and modified reciprocal reading - on the reading motivation of middle school students with reading delays. Participants were four 6th-grade students who were grouped into dyads in a reading intervention classroom. The primary dependent variable was book engagement under pairing and test conditions. Book engagement was defined as the percentage of time during which participants contacted or manipulated pages of books, made eye movements from left to right and top to bottom on pages of books, flipped pages, and talked about books. The secondary dependent variable was the number of correct responses on a written comprehension check. Reading interventions were 10 minutes of sustained silent reading and 10 minutes of a modified reciprocal reading procedure that included stimulus-stimulus pairing, a yoked contingency, and feedback from a teacher. An alternating treatment design with baseline and a final treatment phase was used to evaluate the effects of the two treatments. Results indicated that sustained silent reading increased reading engagement for two participants and that reciprocal reading increased reading engagement for two participants. Results are discussed in terms of existing research and extensions to reading instruction for middle school students with reading delays.


Behavioral Skills Training and Literacy: Supporting Reading Instructors in Adult Education Centers

MYA HERNANDEZ (Lake Michigan College)

The present study evaluated the effects of a behavioral skills training package (BST) on training adult literacy tutors to implement the steps of BST when teaching parents with low literacy. Four adult literacy tutors participated in the study along with one parent with low literacy. The primary dependent variable was the percentage of steps of the BST package implemented correctly during tutor training probe measures. Secondary measures were taken on the parents’ performance of each step of the literacy activities on which they were trained. In baseline, all tutors were provided with instructions for performing two literacy activities and tutors demonstrated how they would train each literacy activity with a parent or confederate researcher at their literacy site. During the BST session, tutors were trained on how to implement the BST package when training a parent on performing an Interactive Read Aloud literacy activity. Following the BST session, tutors again demonstrated how they would train each literacy activity as a maintenance measure. Their performance was probed in session with a parent when possible. Results suggested that following the BST session, tutor performance improved in implementing the steps of the BST package with parents and parent confederates during maintenance probes. Acceptability measures showed high approval ratings with the training package. Results are discussed with regard to practical considerations when training various populations.


The Effects of Self-Observation on Implementation of Direct Instruction Reading Curricula

KATHERINE MAHAFFY (Association for Behavior Analysis International)

The current study evaluates the effects of structured self-observations to record rate and accuracy of learn units on the participants’ subsequent implementation of reading curricula. Four graduate student participants were trained to implement reading curricula using instruction, modeling, and access to the written instructions accompanying each of the reading curricula. The dependent variables were the accuracy and rate of antecedents, consequences, and total learn units for the lesson. A secondary dependent variable was the rate of social praise and token delivery contingent on student behavior during the lesson aligned with the four rules established each session. During intervention, participants were trained to record learn units using the Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale (TPRA) and observed videos of their own reading sessions to score accuracy and rate of learn unit delivery. Following each observation, teachers presented a reading lesson and the dependent variables of accuracy and rate of learn units as well as token delivery were measured without feedback. Results suggest that structured self-observations of learn units improved the accuracy of consequences and total learn units as all four participants averaged a higher accuracy of both antecedents and consequences in intervention than baseline, with two participants showing significant improvement upon intervention. The rate of correct learn units also improved for two of the four participants during structured self-observation intervention. Implications of these findings for training teachers to use behavioral reading curricula are discussed as well as how these findings relate to existing research on structured self-observations and teaching training.




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