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DIAGNOSIS OF READING PROBLEMS Charles W.

Peters
I. Introduction Diagnosis is a fundamental element in a reading program; without it, a program has no direction, accurate instructional decisions cannot be made, and appropriate pedagogical techniques or materials cannot be selected. Diagnosis is predicated on the precept that before one can accurately detect deficiencies a reader may possess, the diagnostician must have a thorough knowledge of the reading process. II. Defining the Terms Evaluation involves establishing tentative hypothesis, gathering information, and utilizing that information in formulating instructional decisions Reading diagnosis is a microcosm of reading evaluation; both procedures are based on the scientific method of inquiry. Hypothesis must be developed, data gathered and interpretations made. Reading tests assess the manifested behaviors associated with the reading process. o Evans (1968) When I ask you what you are teaching, dont show me your behavioral objectives; show me your post test. The post test is the ultimate operational measure of what you are trying to teach. Reading assessment is a systematic collection of data based on the systematic utilization of test and non test procedures which provide insights into reading behaviors. Reading measurement is the quantification of reading behavior.

III. Developing a Diagnosis Model Diagnosis is an interrelated process through which a teacher attempts to ascertain the specific strengths and weaknesses of individual students. Diagnosis predicated on the systematic collection, interpretation, and utilization of information.

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The Diagnostic Process

Specify the decisions to be made

Describe the information needed

Gather the needed information

Obtain needed information

Translate information into a workable program

Obtain needed information

a. Specify the decisions to be made. Before any instruments can be selected or information gathered, the diagnostician must have some idea as to what the information will be used for. b. The information needed must be described. Regardless of the specified area, the teacher must be able to describe the needed information. One cannot obtain information unless one knows what is needed. c. The information must be gathered. This process involves several related steps. First, all existing information that is pertinent to the diagnosis must be located and its utility determined. And the last step is to select or construct the instruments need to gathered the required information. d. The information must be obtained. Diagnostic information should be obtained from a variety of sources student records, questionnaires, other professionals, informal and formal instruments. After identifying these sources, the teacher can ascertain when and how to collect the information.

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There are ways to collect and obtain data: 1) Tell the student that the test will be recorded. 2) Bear in mind that some students find it difficult to concentrate on one task for long periods of time. 3) Balanced information-gathering technique. 4) Should observe the childs classroom environment. 5) Test results must be shared. e. Information must be analyzed and recorded. To be interpreted correctly, the data must be accurately recorded. In order to accomplish this goal, several important factors must be considered: Determine the system that will be utilized in recording diagnostic information. The analysis of information is a very crucial step in the diagnostic process. The obvious is not always apparent. o Analyze the information as soon after it has been collected as possible. o Save samples of students work so comparisons can be made. o Look for patterns that may emerge. o Do not jump to conclusions. o Share your insights with other members of the interdisciplinary team. o The analysis of data must be continual and ongoing.

f. Translate the results into a workable program. There are several guidelines to be presented to assist the classroom teacher and reading specialist to implement the remedial program: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Establish an instructional sequence. Combine strengths and weaknesses Utilize various instructional strategies. Focus reading instruction. Vary reading materials. Build in skill transfer. Use reinforcement activities. Stimulate interest in reading Build a positive self- concept. Reported by:
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JOAN JESUSA B. VELASCO BSEd IV-A