Miscue Analysis

While RDG 621 is formally a class about literacy assessment and evaluation, the main assessment too that students learn and perform in this class is miscue analysis. Our class is held at New Mexico State’s Children’s Village, where we spend half the class learning about literacy by interacting with children.

Miscue analysis is a process developed by Ken Goodman (who wrote one of our textbooks). Simply put, it’s the process used to determine both a reader’s strengths and the strategies the reader needs to work on.

Unlike many assessment tools, miscue analysis is a mixed methods way of conducting research, possessing qualities that are both quantitative and qualitative. On the quantitative side, miscue analysis provides statistical information in the quantity and frequency of miscues. On the qualitative side, miscue analysis tells the evaluator about the quality of a reader’s reading.

Right now, I have a working knowledge of the three cuing systems people use when they read. A fundamental understanding of these cuing systems is important when conducting miscue analysis. My goal for the semester is to build my knowledge of these cuing systems so when I am conducting an informal miscue analysis while listening to my students read, I can call up my knowledge of these cuing systems to help me further guide my students.

The three cuing systems are:

  • Graphophonic: this system involves the way words are spelled, punctuation, and other print features, as well as the sounds of oral language and their relationship
  • Semantic: this system deals with the meanings of words and phrases, how they relate to each other and both the author’s and reader’s knowledge of the world.
  • Syntactic: this system involves the way people organize their words in phrases or sentences in any given language. The grammar of a language, if you will.

Goodman, Y., et. al. (2005) Reading Miscue Inventory. Katonah, NY: Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc.

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