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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #575
CE Offered: BACB
Optimizing Reading Instruction: From Research to Practice
Monday, May 30, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205B
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Emily Messiah (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Robin Kuhn, Ph.D.

According to the International Literacy Association (2021), “Children have the basic human right to read.” Implementation of effective and efficient reading intervention is necessary to ensure all learners become competent readers better able to participate in society (UNESCO, 2021). Research identifying effective and efficient reading interventions has been translated into reading curricula, which have been adopted and implemented across various educational settings. The first presentation in this symposium will provide an example of how to improve reading using a behavior-based teaching strategy: TAGteach. The second presentation will review the evidence supporting various methods of reading instruction and discuss one approach that integrates Direct Instruction (DI) and Precision Teaching (PT) with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to optimize reading gains: Celeration Education. The third presentation will use illustrative case examples to demonstrate how to teach reading using Celeration Education. Individualized instruction will be emphasized across learning profiles as a necessary component for maximizing fluent decoding and reading comprehension.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees will: (1) state how to investigate the use of TagTeach to improve reading fluency; (2) describe various behavioral approaches to teach reading and their supporting evidence; (3) specify how Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching can be combined to teach reading within service delivery.

An Evaluation of TAGteach to Improve Oral Reading Performance of Nonsense Words With College Students

(Applied Research)
PIERCE TAYLOR (Rollins College), April Michele Williams (Rollins College)

Reading is an important skill that behavior analysts are well equipped to teach. TAGteachTM offers a promising systematic technology for behavior analysts and non-behavior analytic teachers to improve oral reading performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of TAGteach as an intervention to decrease reading errors and increase oral reading fluency with nonsense text. Baseline performance on a passage of nonsense text was established and target utterances were determined for intervention. TAGteach was introduced to teach participants the correct pronunciation of nonsense words. Generalization and maintenance of performance were also assessed. The number of errors was high and fluency (i.e., speed of correctly reading the passage) was low during baseline but both improved following the TAGteach intervention. These results suggest TAGteach effectively promotes reading acquisition and improving fluency, although its use should be examined in educational settings and with existing languages.

From Project Follow Through to Celeration Education: The Evolution of Effective Reading Interventions
KYLENE CAQUELIN (University of Kansas), Christopher Topham (Celeration Education), Emily Messiah (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract: What are best practices in reading instruction and how are they informed by research? This presentation will briefly review the research supporting various reading interventions through a behavioral lens to include methods designed to produce fluent, accurate decoding and strong comprehension. Direct Instruction (DI; Engelmann & Carnine, 1982) and Precision Teaching (PT; Lindsley, 1971/1990) will be discussed in depth (Binder & Watkins, 1990; Johnson & Street, 2004; Tucci et al., 2004), along with other methods of reading instruction that are compatible with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Celeration Education’s service delivery model successfully combines DI and PT with ABA to teach reading and will be discussed in relation to the reading curriculum and practices that informed its development and refinement. A detailed description of the model, including adaptations made for remote service delivery, will be provided to guide in the implementation of service from referral and intake, through ongoing assessment and intervention, and data-based decision-making.
Individualizing Instruction: The Child Knows Best
(Service Delivery)
EMILY MESSIAH (University of Kansas), Christopher Topham (Celeration Education), Kylene Caquelin (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract: All learners have different baseline reading repertoires, learning histories, and motivators. Individualizing instruction to meet the unique needs of each learner is essential for ensuring successful, efficient learning. According to Haughton et al. (1992), active student involvement in the form of “personal aims, curriculum options, and shared decision making” (p. 33) is one of seven elements necessary for optimal outcomes. The other six elements address invested instructors teaching pinpoints of component and composite skills to fluency across multiple learning channels. Instructors carefully scope and sequence curriculum and measure progress using the Standard Celeration Chart. Through illustrative examples, two cases will be presented showcasing beginning readers and fluent readers with a focus on comprehension. Additional adaptations will be considered for remote learning, learning channel differences, special populations, and caregiver involvement. Celeration Education’s service delivery model individualizes reading intervention through effective integration of Direct Instruction (DI), Precision Teaching (PT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) within Haughton et al.’s guiding framework.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh