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The Eighth Edition of Understanding Reading Problems is a thorough updating of a market-leading book written by highly popular authors Jean Wallace Gillet, Charles Temple, Codruta Temple, and Alan Crawford. Featuring classroom-based, teacher-driven approaches to effective reading assessment and remediation, this new edition covers reading processes, their assessment and their corrective instruction and includes thorough treatments of reading and writing at every stage of development. The Eighth Edition is organized by developmental levels, with explanations of reading issues at each level, approaches to assessment, and teaching methods delivered at the point of need.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The text provides invaluable information on how to assess as well as offer instruction to struggling readers ranging from emergent and beginning to older readers.” Ioney James, North Carolina A & T State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133007534
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/15/2012
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 504
  • Sales rank: 1,068,439
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Gillet has been an elementary reading specialist in central Virginia. She has also served as a classroom teacher, staff development specialist, and university educator. Her professional interests include the diagnosis and correction of reading difficulties, children’s developmental spelling, and children’s writing. Jean’s extensive published work includes topics such as including contributing to classroom instructional materials on writing and spelling. The coauthor of several textbooks for teachers on language arts, reading, writing, and spelling, she received her doctorate from the University of Virginia.

Charles Temple teaches courses in literacy and peace studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Dr. Temple studied with the late Edmund Henderson at the University of Virginia, where he explored reading instruction, reading disabilities, invented spelling, and what was to become emergent literacy. His published books cover such topics as emergent literacy, writing instruction, language arts, diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities, and children’s literature. He is a director of Critical Thinking International, Inc., a non-profit corporation that develops materials and fields mid-career professionals for teacher training around the world.

Codruta Temple taught English as a foreign language and was principal of a bilingual lyceum (high school) in Romania. She taught French as a Fulbright Scholar in California before moving permanently to the United States, where she earned a PhD. in English Education and linguistics at Syracuse University. Professor Temple now divides her time between teaching ESL methods and linguistics at New York State University College at Cortland and at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.

Alan Crawford is Emeritus Professor of Education at California State University, Los Angeles. A Past President of the California Reading Association, he has done extensive teaching, consulting, and writing on teaching reading in the elementary school, especially for English language learners. Alan has written curriculum for teaching reading in Spanish and serves on the Editorial Review Board of Lectura y Vida. He served as IRA’s representative to UNESCO for many years and was a Senior Literacy Specialist at UNESCO in Paris during International Literacy Year (1989-90). He is a director of Critical Thinking International and frequently presents workshops on a volunteer basis for international development projects in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa

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Table of Contents



chapter 1 Reading and Its Assessment

Framing the Issues

Reading Assessment

Different Assessments for Different Phases of Instruction

Approaches to Assessment

The Process of Learning to Read at Different Stages

Emergent Literacy

Beginning Reading

Fledgling Reading

Developing Reading

Mature Reading

Differentiated Instruction

Response to Intervention

Summary References

CHAPTER 2 Response To Intervention (RTI) and Struggling Readers

From a Discrepancy Model to Response to Intervention: The Origins of RTI

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997(IDEA)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA)

Response to Intervention (RTI)

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Reading First

Characteristics of RTI: What It Is, What It Isn’t

Recommended Principles of RTI from the International Reading Association

The Multi-Tiered Structure of RTI

Tier One: General Education Program

Tier Two: Small-Group Intervention

Tier Three: Intensive Intervention

Approaches and Models for Implementing RTI

Interactive Strategies Approach (ISA)

Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM)

The Role of Assessment in RTI

Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) (benchmark assessment)

Diagnostic Assessment

Progress Monitoring

False Positives

Evidence-Based Literacy Programs

Members of the RTI Team and Their Roles

RTI in Middle Schools and High Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

Implications of RTI for Special Education

English Language Learners and RTI

RTI and the Gifted

The Role of Technology in RTI



CHAPTER 3 Assessing and Teaching Emergent Readers

Understanding Emergent Literacy

Aspects of Emergent Literacy

Assessing Emerging Readers

Assessing Print Concepts

Alphabet Knowledge

Assessing Alphabet Knowledge

The Concept of Word

Assessing the Concept of Word

Phonological Awareness

The Importance of Phonological Awareness

Assessing Phonological Awareness

Distinguishing Rhyming Words from Non-rhyming Words

Producing Rhymes

Phoneme Isolation

Phoneme Comparison

Phoneme Addition

Phoneme Subtraction

Phoneme Segmentation

Assessing Phonemic Awareness by Means of Invented Spelling

Oral Language Development


Assessing Vocabulary

Syntax, or Grammar

Decontextualized Language

Assessing for Knowledge of Decontextualized Language

Narrative Comprehension

Picture Walk

Story Retelling

Prompted Comprehension

Widely Distributed Tests of Emergent Literacy

Teaching for Emergent Literacy

Teaching Print Orientation Concepts

Teaching the Alphabet

Alphabet Books

Letter-Matching Games

Sounds and Letters

Teaching the Concept of Word

The Voice-Pointing Procedure

Cut-Apart Words

Dictated Experience Accounts

Morning Message

Teaching to Build Phonological Awareness

At the Syllable Level

At the Onset-and-Rime Level

At the Phoneme Level

Teaching for Many Things at Once

Reading Storybooks

Reading Many Books, Repeatedly

Reading Expressively

Shared Reading

Conducting a Shared Reading Lesson

Dialogic Reading

Teaching to Nurture Vocabulary Development

Teaching Decontextualized Language

Storytelling for Comprehension

Learning Stories to Tell



CHAPTER 4: Assessing and Teaching Beginning and Fledgling Readers and Writers

Components of Beginning and Fledgling Reading

Word Recognition

Sight Words

High Frequency Sight Words

Sight Words as Learned Words

Word Recognition by Decoding

Comprehension, the Ability to Derive Meaning from Text

Reading Fluency

Assessing Beginning and Fledgling Readers

Running Records

Running Records to Document Progress

Running Records and Text Difficulty

Further Assessments of Beginning and Fledgling Readers

Assessing Knowledge of Sight Words

Assessing Word Knowledge through Invented Spelling: The Monster Test

Applying the Results of The Monster Test

Assessing Word Knowledge By Means of Novel Words: Demtup

Instruction for Beginning and Fledgling Readers

Tutoring Lesson


Shared writing with individual children

Interactive Writing With a Small Group

Attention to Handwriting

Word Study

Sound Boards

Making and Breaking Words

Push It Say It

Teaching High Frequency Words

Reading aloud

The Language Experience Approach

Planning and Record Keeping



CHAPTER 5: Informal Assessments of Reading

Informal Reading Inventories

Selecting an Informal Reading Inventory

Quality of Passages.

Types of Text.

Quality of Questions.

Format and Instructions.

Administering an Informal Reading Inventory

Where to Start

Starting with Word Lists.

Starting with Passages.

Where to Stop

Step-by-Step Administration

Reinspection and Comprehension

Retelling and Comprehension

Marking Oral Reading Miscues

Assessing Listening Comprehension

Assessing Recognition of Words in Isolation

Scoring an Informal Reading Inventory

Levels of Reading Ability

The Independent Level

The Instructional Level

The Frustration Level

The Listening Level

The Usefulness of Reading Levels

Oral Reading Accuracy

Reading Fluency

Reading and Listening Comprehension

Scoring the Word Recognition Inventory

Keeping Track of Scores

Interpreting an Informal Reading Inventory

Establishing Reading and Listening Levels

Qualitative Analysis of Oral Reading Miscues

Comparing Miscues.

Scoring Miscue Acceptability.

What Makes a Miscue Acceptable?

Dialects and Miscues.

What about Names?

Analyzing Reading Comprehension

Comprehension Skill Patterns

Patterns in Listening Comprehension

Analyzing Word Recognition in Isolation

Observations of Reading Behaviors and Strategies

Observing Readers

Physical Behaviors

Cognitive Behaviors

Reading Strategies Observed

Recording Observations

Monitoring Types and Difficulty of Texts Read

Guided Reading Levels

Readability Estimates

The Fry Readability Chart


Cloze Procedures

Constructing a Cloze Passage

Administering a Cloze Passage

Scoring and Interpreting a Cloze

Maze Tests

Student Portfolios

Showcasing Achievement

Documenting Progress

Demonstrating Effort

Fostering Self-Evaluation and Reflection

Kinds of Portfolios

Organizing a Portfolio Program

What Goes into a Portfolio?

Primary Grades

Middle and Upper Grades

Evaluating Portfolios

Teaching Self-Evaluation

Teaching Goal Setting

Teacher Evaluations

Parent Evaluations

Portfolio Conferences

Teacher-Student Conferences

Peer Conferences

Parent Conferences

Measuring Attitudes and Interest in Reading



CHAPTER 6: Teaching Developing Readers

Phonics And Word Knowledge For Developing Readers

Word Knowledge At Different Levels

Logographic Reading

Transitional Alphabetic Reading

Alphabetic Reading

Orthographic Reading

Derivational Reading

Teaching Phonics

Word Study At More Advanced Levels

Guiding Word Study

Teaching Words With Shared Phonogram Patterns

Teaching Words With Grammatical Affixes And Derivational Affixes

Teaching Homophones And Homographs

Developing Sight Vocabulary

Dictated Stories and Language Experience

Support Reading: Echo Reading and Choral Reading

Developing Word Analysis Strategies

Using Context

Approaching Word Attack Strategically

Assessing Reading Fluency

Developing Reading Fluency

Modeling Fluent Oral Reading

Providing Oral Support For Reading

Providing Practice In Oral Reading

Repeated Reading For Fluency

Predictable Books, “Easy Readers,” And Other Easy Reading Fare

Developing Readers’ Vocabulary

Levels of Vocabulary Knowledge

Dissecting Children’s Vocabulary

Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary

Teaching the Use of Context Clues to Vocabulary

Developing Reading Comprehension

For the Phase of Anticipation

For the Phase of Building Knowledge

For the Phase of Consolidation

Developing Listening Comprehension

Time Spent Reading



CHAPTER 7: Assessing and Teaching Middle and Secondary School Readers and Writers

The Reading and Writing Issues of Older Students

Why Should We Be Concerned About Older Students’ Reading and Writing Ability?

Responding to the Needs of Readers and Writers in Middle and Secondary Grades

A Range of Responses to Older Students’ Reading and Writing Needs.

Reading Strategies for Use Across the Curriculum

Strategies for the Anticipation Phase

Advance Organizers

The Anticipation Guide

Group Brainstorming

Paired Brainstorming

Terms In Advance


Free Writing

Semantic Map

K now/Want to Know/Learn.

Strategies for the Building Knowledge Phase

The I.N.S.E.R.T. Model

Text Coding

Study Guides

Dual-­Entry Diaries

Cooperative Learning: Jigsaw II

Strategies for the Reflection Phase

The Discussion Web

Academic Controversy

Providing Close Support for Students’ Reading Development

Organizing Focused Strategic and Intensive Instruction

Assessing Readers for Focused Instruction

Planning Lessons for Disabled Readers

Teaching Strategies to Build Reading Competence

Thinking Aloud

ReQuest Procedure


Questioning the Author

Reading and Questioning

Audio Books

Introducing and Focusing Attention on New Vocabulary

Word Conversations


Webbed Questions

The Frayer Model

Helping Older Students Write

Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction

Teaching Writing Strategies and Teaching the Writing Process Approach.




Editing or Proofreading


Focused Lessons

Having Goals for Writing

Keyboarding Skill

Writing For Inquiry

Ten-­Minute Essays and Other Free Writes

The Five-­Minute Essay

Three-­Part Diaries

The I-Search Paper

Motivational and Emotional Issues of Adolescent Students with Reading Problems

Guiding Principles and Theories

Establishing Trust

Providing Literate Role Models

Reducing the Feeling of Learned Helplessness or Passive Failure

Legitimizing Personal Knowledge and Experiences

Developing a Learning Environment



CHAPTER 8: Assessing Spelling and Writing

Monitoring Spelling Progress and Problems

Developmental Spelling Stages

Early Emergent Stage

Later Emergent Stage

Letter-Name Stage

Within-Word Pattern Stage

Syllables and Affixes Stage

Derivational Constancy Stage

Assessing Spelling Progress

The Word Knowledge Inventory

Developmental Spelling Analysis

The Gentry Spelling Grade-Level Test

Monitoring Writing Progress

Writing Samples

Writing Checklists

Six Traits Writing Evaluation

Writing Rubrics

CHAPTER 9: Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Culture and schooling

Cultural differences in the mainstream classroom

Conceptualizing literacy

Communication styles

Participation structures

Task-engagement preferences

Discourse organization

Accommodating cultural differences in the mainstream classroom

Linguistic differences in the mainstream classroom

Languages and dialects

The Ebonics debate

Accommodating non-standard dialects in the mainstream classroom

English language learners

How does English compare to other languages?





Writing systems

Accommodating linguistic differences in the mainstream classroom

How do people learn a second language?

Supporting English language development in the mainstream classroom

The role of the first language in second language and literacy development

Including English Language Learners’ first languages in the mainstream classroom

Creating a multilingual classroom environment


Bilingual books

Multilingual newsletters

Assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students

Instructional suggestions

Strategies for developing listening comprehension

Strategies for developing phonemic awareness and phonics

Strategies for developing reading fluency

Strategies for developing vocabulary

Developing reading comprehension

Strategies for teaching grammar

Strategies for developing awareness of text structure

Strategies for supporting writing development


List of figures


Appendix A

CHAPTER 10: Understanding Formal Measures of Literacy Ability

Understanding Formal Measures

Characteristics Of Tests



Interpreting Test Results

Distributions Of Test Scores

Measures Of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, And Mode

Measures Of Dispersion: Range And Standard Deviation

Forms Of Test Scores

Norm-Referenced Tests

Achievement Tests

Diagnostic Tests

Criterion-Referenced Tests

Goals And Objectives

Benchmarks And Rubrics

State Standards And Assessment



Chapter 11 Factors Related to Reading Problems

Philosophical and Legal Issues Related to Special-Needs Students

Past Legislation Affecting Special-Needs Students

IDEA 2004 and NCLB

Student Participation in General Education

Identifying Special-Needs Students

Assessment of Special Educational Needs

Intellectual Factors

Tests of Intelligence and Learning Aptitude

The Role of Experience

Physical Factors

Vision and Visual Problems

Hearing and Auditory Problems

Language Factors

Language Acquisition and Difficulties in Infancy and Early Childhood

Language Development and Difficulties in Preschool and Primary Grades

Language Development and Difficulties in Later Childhood

Special Learning Problems

Learning Disabilities Dyslexia

Designing Individualized Interventions

Interventions for Phonological Awareness

Interventions for Improving Fluency


References Index

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