Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor B.A. Levy
Rereading has been advocated as a useful technique for rehabilitating poor readers (e.g. Samuels, 1979). The purpose of this thesis was to examine what was remembered after reading a text to discover how this memory can be used to increase the fluency of reading related texts. Six experiments examined the factors that influence transfer for related texts. Transfer was indicated by increases in the reading speed and/or accuracy of reading a second text, following reading of different first texts. In Experiments 1-4, the first texts were related to the second by overlap in words only, in content only, in words and content or in neither words nor content. Results indicated that the extent to which readers benefited from word or content overlap depended on the readers' skill and the difficulty of the text. Children who read texts that were easy for them showed transfer only when pairs of stories shared content. However, when children read stories that were difficult for them, they also showed transfer when words alone were shared. In Experiment 5 children were given scrambled text to determine the effect of simple exposure to words without meaningful context. Reading scrambled words benefited only poor readers who were reading text that was difficult for them. In Experiment 6 the reading transfer of adults who read either a scrambled or a normal text was examined. Adults who were good readers benefited only when both texts were normal, as found by Levy and Burns (1990). However, when adults who were poor readers were given difficult texts, they benefited from prior exposure to the words of a text even when they were scrambled, as found by Carr, Brown and Charalambous (1989). The results are discussed in terms of how texts are represented in memory and retrieved to produce transfer.
Faulkner, Heather Jean, "How Text Difficulty and Reader Skill Affect Reliance on Word and Content Overlap in Reading Transfer" (1995). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1699.