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Abstract

This study examines the strategies that proficient fourth grade readers employ when responding to their miscues. Thirty-four students orally read a complex expository scientific text. The text was part of the fourth grade science curriculum. Reader response strategies to their miscues—corrections and attempts to correct—were identified. It was discovered that response strategies were either graphic or contextual in nature. As measured by Chi-squares, readers varied their use of these strategies. This variation was statistically significant at the p < .001 level for both correction and attempt to correct strategies. For both, the primary focus was on the word level. Existing research documents that as text complexity increases, readers have a tendency to rely on sounding out as a default strategy. As readers progress across the grades, teachers will therefore need to prompt the use more than graphic strategies when readers respond to their miscues. This is particularly the case due to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Students are being introduced to complex disciplinary texts in which the use of context is critical to their understanding of new language forms and concepts.

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