Learning to Read: Improving Skills of 10-Year-Old Student - Case Study

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1660 Words
Date:  2023-03-04


The purpose of the study is to analyze a 10-year-old students' segmentation of words during reading. By following the analysis will identifying problematic areas, I will provide the best instructional plan that will boost the student's skills. Reading is a vital skill that should be possessed by every individual living in contemporary society. The skill is important because it is linked to career and formal education success. However, an individual's ability to read may sometimes be challenged by different aspects. By gathering information from the challenging areas, researchers have provided extensive information that helps in the early intervention of young readers with reading problems.

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The significance of reading and encouraging children to develop positive reading skills cannot be stressed enough. The ability to read a new language includes the individual's capacity to extract words from a given context, which is referred to as phenome segmentation. When students have high phenological awareness, their ability to demonstrate positive literacy skills also increases.

Description of Student

Joanna is a ten-year-old Grade 5 student. She attended Head Start before joining Kindergarten. However, she is experiencing difficulties in segmenting written English words. Her reading troubles prompted her parents to book her for extra reading services since her kindergarten years.

Currently, she is living with her parents and two brothers Ian and Oscar. Her primary language is Arabic because of her Arabic parents. All her family members cannot communicate in fluent English, so they avoid using the language within their home. However, she also speaks in English, especially when communicating with her friends. Her teachers describe Joanna as a hardworking, time-efficient, and instruction-oriented student who gets along with everyone, including her peers. Besides, the teacher notes her weakness in reading and reports that the student showed little interest in volunteering to read English texts. According to the teacher, Joanna participated more and enjoyed attending mathematics lessons but disliked reading classes.

According to the information offered by her mother, her daughter has always struggled with reading. She had often experienced difficulties in learning her alphabet during preschool. Also, the rhyming words often proved difficult for her liking. Parents noted no history of health problems in their daughter.


For the assessor to gain the available information regarding Joanna's reading problem, two assessment data methods will be applied. One of the methods used is the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. The survey would additionally inform us on the student's interests and hobbies. The assessment was taken from http://resources.corwin.com/sites/default/files/Compendium_17.pdf

Also, the DIBELS 6th Edition will be used. Under DIBELS, the Phenomic Segmentation Fluency will be used to assess Joanna (Good & Kaminski, 2002). The assessment will be derived from https://dibels.uoregon.edu/docs/materials/admin_and_scoring_6th_ed.pdf

I have chosen to use phoneme words from Joanna's English coursebook. The book was chosen because the student was familiar with it, and it would influence her attitude to think positively.

Pre-Assessment Analysis and Discussion

When presented with the elementary reading test, Joanna scored two points. The available information stated that Joanna had increased interest in mathematics as compared to reading lessons. At this point, the principal objective was to her positive points and narrowed to her inabilities. Based on the information, I decided to assess her attitude. First, there was a lack of interest, and second, the student was unable to process the answers to the reading context. After gathering the information, I sat with the student in one of the school rooms. I ensured that I chose a quiet room with limited distractions. I talked with the students on why she did not enjoy adding before gaining her interest and getting her to participate in my evaluation. I said the sounds in words, and then I gave her three seconds to respond to sounds in different words. I put the student's score against the words that had the correct sound. The checklist had 20 words. Out of the 20 sound words, Joanna got only three sounds right.

Literature Review

According to (Scammacca et al., 2016), poor reading falls in three profiles of Specific Word Reading Difficulties (SWRD), Mixed Reading Difficulties (MRD), and Specific Reading Comprehension Difficulties (SRCD). Teachers must identify the areas of problems before applying intervention methods. In most cases, children who do not enjoy reading do not understand the context, which makes the activity slow and tedious. Ultimately, the children do not end up reading much, and this affects their overall comprehension. Gambrell et al. (2018) report that the best time to support children's reading ability is when they are in Kindergarten. Unfortunately, not all children get the necessary help that they need during their early years. As a result, older children like Grade 5 can benefit from explicit instructions that are given to younger students (Andersen & Nelsen, 2016). However, the difference is that the interventions get adjusted to fit the older students' needs. Depending on the child's needs, the intervention programs include phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, word study, and vocabulary.



I worked with Joanna for four weeks, where we met every Wednesday afternoons. The sessions were broadly spaced to result in the spacing effect. The spacing effect was meant to allow the student practice time and influence her learning experience.

Day One- Phoneme Segmentation

During the session, Joanna was introduced to new sounds, and she also participated in finding the sounds of the words. Initially, I pronounced the words regularly before elongating the consonant sound during the second pronunciation. I repeated the word three times and then asked Joanna to do the same. Finally, I gave her more words to use as practice material.

Day Two- Elkonin Boxes

Joanna was given a paper that was divided in four tables. She was then asked to fill in the sounds of every word in each box. The task began with words with two phenomes, and she was given words with more phenomes as part of the practice. If the word was at, she could fill in /a/ and /t/ in different squares.

Day Three- Segmenting and Counting Phonemes

The student was given six tokens, and words with the same sounds were introduced. For example, nice and ice. Then she was asked to push each token for words that have more sounds. The counters were used to tell if her answers were right.

Day Four- Segmenting Words into Syllables: Clapping Syllables

On this day the student was asked to mention familiar names like her parents and friends. For each name, she was asked to identify the syllables and clap at the sound of each one. For example, Je-si-ca or Jo-an-na.

Day Five- Segmenting Words into Syllables: Counting Syllables

Joanna was given 5 tokens and I asked her to count the syllables in each name. If she said e-le-phant, she was to count three tokens because the word has three syllables.

Day Six- Segmenting of Words into Onset and Rime - identify the onset

The student was introduced to word formation from different words by taking off the first sound. For example, Mask-ask, rice-ice. Then she was asked to do the same to separate words.

Day Seven- Segmentation of Words into Onset and Rime

Different words were introduced and Joanna was asked to identify the sound of the first part of the word, and spell the rest. For example, in the word part, she identified the sound /p/ and spelled the word art.

Post Assessment

The sessions had a positive effect on Joanna as she made significant progress. By the end of day seven, Joanna was able to identify sounds in more complex words. Through her progress, I am confident to report that the interventions were effective in aiding and addressing Joanna's issues. However, she still needs directions when segmenting longer words. I would recommend that she is slowly introduced to reading books, which can help her identify difficult words. She can use difficult words as part of her practice.

Analysis and Discussion

As compared to her pre-assessment, Joanna had improved by the time the post- assessment was taken. Through the sessions, her interest increased as she became familiar with the sounds. Her confident also grew and she began understanding the sounds. She demonstrated strong concentration skill and I believe her interest in reading can grow if she gets constant assistance.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Joanna's interest in reading was limited because she experienced difficulties with segmenting the sounds. Although I know that her family members are not fluent, she could benefit by practicing her sounds through reading to them. Her interests will grow further if familiar people champion her work. I recommend that her parents buy more books and counting tablets that can help their daughter in her practice.


Based on the intervention methods that were used on Joanna, the sessions were compatible with her needs. The strategies that I learnt were useful although I would have made the session more interesting by using more coloured items. In future, the strategies will be used in a classroom setting because of the positive results.


Andersen, S. C., & Nielsen, H. S. (2016). Reading intervention with a growth mindset approach improves children's skills. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(43), 12111-12113. Retrieved from: https://www.pnas.org/content/113/43/12111.short

Gambrell, L. B., Corbett, K., Hubbard, K., Jacques, L. A., & Roberts, L. (2018). Young Children's Motivation to Engage in Social Aspects of Reading. In Reading Achievement and Motivation in Boys and Girls (pp. 99-113). Springer, Cham. Retrieved from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-75948-7_6

Good, R. H., & Kaminski, R. A. (2002). What are DIBELS. Oral reading fluency passages for first through third grade. Retrieved from: https://dibels.uoregon.edu/docs/materials/admin_and_scoring_6th_ed.pdf

Scammacca, N. K., Roberts, G. J., Cho, E., Williams, K. J., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S. R., & Carroll, M. (2016). A century of progress: Reading interventions for students in grades 4-12, 1914-2014. Review of Educational Research, 86(3), 756-800. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436613/

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Learning to Read: Improving Skills of 10-Year-Old Student - Case Study. (2023, Mar 04). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/learning-to-read-improving-skills-of-10-year-old-student-case-study

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