[Rasch] reading fluency

Agustin Tristan ici_kalt at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 12 03:46:22 EST 2010

Hello, as I could see from the example, it seems to me that it is not really important to know the grammar rules or the sintax requirements or use of verbs or so. It appears that the selection of the three words has to be very evident in order to give a sense to the speed of reading, otherwise time will involve reading speed plus the needed time to decide which word corresponds correctly to the tense, sentence coherence and other criteria.
For instance I can imagine the sentence:
He jumped out of bed and (sang / ran / flower) to his window. 
in a different way:
He jumped out of bed and (run / ran / runs) to his window. 
This three choice of words, the same verb but different tense or person is probably of a different difficulty than the three original words corresponding to verbs, nouns and even uncomprehensible ideas like "singing" to a window. 
Did you try the use of those kind of more "plausible" choices?
Other sentences in your example include incoherent words even for a non English native speaker like me, in this case I'm not sure that you are measuring reading fluency or logic. In addition it is a different ability to read fluently in silence than the ability to read orally if you try to check pronounciation and oral fluency.
In the Lexile model there is a way to score the choice of the words and give a measure to the complete paragraph and the ability to read it.

From: Stephanou, Andrew <Stephanou at acer.edu.au>
Subject: [Rasch] reading fluency
To: Rasch at acer.edu.au
Date: Friday, December 10, 2010, 3:30 PM

SENT ON BEHALF OF Carl Hauser [Carl.Hauser at nwea.org]
Hello All.
An item format used to assess reading fluency might look something like this:
Oscar was awakened by a loud (book / color / boom).  He jumped out of bed and (sang / ran / flower) to his window.  In the dim light he could (see / danger / shout) a figure that looked like something (garden / out of / bucket) a story he read.  This seemed strange to (glass / him / listen). 
The task is for the student to read to each parenthesized word set and select the word that fits.  A count of correctly selected fitting words is tallied.  Also, the time it takes to complete the reading is recorded.  For longer passages a fixed time to complete the passage is assigned.  Traditionally, reading fluency in early years of education is assessed through oral reading.  Computer capabilities may allow items such as the example above to be administered without the need to read orally to a human or by using voice capturing capabilities to record and score oral reading performance for speed and accuracy.  In addition, use of computers may help in de-confounding rate of reading from the comprehension aspect of the performance.  However, the item presents a measurement challenge, at least to me.
My question: Has a Rasch-type model been developed that could handle or be adapted to handle this type of dual/multi-faceted performance?     
>From my current fragile understanding of Rasch’s early models for reading fluency (as they were presented and summarized in Lord and Novick, chapter 21), it seems as though neither model 1 (misreadings in an oral reading test) nor model 2 (number of words read during some fixed time period) can handle the example passage.  While rate (words per minute) can be handled, there is a comprehension component in the form of the parenthesized word sets.  Whether or not these two aspects of performance can be formed into a single measureable variable is an (perhaps, the) empirical question.  Whether or not they should be formed into a single variable could be important especially from a practical perspective.  Perhaps a Rasch mixed model is feasible(?).  
Any comments, thoughts, suggestions, or leads are welcome.
Carl Hauser, Ph.D.
Senior Research Specialist  |  NWEA

PHONE 503.624.1951 x3601 |  Direct 503.615.2283 x3601 | FAX 503.639.7873  
Please note: my DIRECT phone number will change to 503-548-5133 as of December 20, 2010
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