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Reading comprehension Essay Example for Free
Reading comprehension Essay ABSTRACT. sion The (STRAT), authors evaluated instruction, strategies followed reciprocal same-age the effectiveness by practice + SA) (STRAT of explicit in teacher-led reading whole-class activities, peer-tutoring comprehen activities or cross-age peer-tutoring activities (STRAT + CA) on 2nd and 5th graders reading comprehen sion and self-efficacy For perceptions. 2nd multilevel graders, analyses revealed sig nificant STRAT and STRAT + CA effects; however, the effects did not last after fin the program. Fifth graders on the posttest better than ishing icantly in all 3 experimentalÃ control group their conditions Results peers. performed signif con also showed tinued growth for the STRAT and STRAT + CA conditions until at least 6 months after students finished the program. Moreover, on both the posttest and retention test, 5th graders in the STRAT + CA condition reported significantly fewer negative thoughts Key words: prehension, related to their elementary reading reading proficiency. multilevel education, strategies, modeling, peer tutoring, reading com self-efficacy RESEARCH, decoding instruction has had a long and continuous of attention and debate. However, a hiatus can be recorded in the study of history reading comprehension. Two decades ago, strategy intervention research was in instruction received renewed atten vogue, but only recently has comprehension with current studies building on what was accomplished in the 1980s. Now, tion, the challenge in reading comprehension research is to increase the efficacy of in struction in elementary schools by identifying the instructional practices and ac tivities that best serve to develop childrens self-monitoring for comprehension IN READING (Snow, Burns, Griffin, 1998). 291. This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 292 The Journal Previously, students Once reading comprehension could decode, was considered comprehension was of Experimental Education to be a process of mastery: assumed to occur automatical ly (Dole, 2000). Research, however, has shown that good readers are character ized by more than just decoding skills. Cognitively based views of reading com readers use a flexible that proficient repertoire of prehension emphasize and regulating activities (Dole, Duffy, Roehler, comprehension monitoringÃ includes both cognitive and metacognitive Pearson, 1991), which strategies (Baker Brown, 1984; Paris, Wasik, Turner, 1991; Pressley Allington, 1999; Pressley, Johnson, Symons, McGoldrick, Kurita, 1989). Cognitive strat egies can be defined as mental or behavioral activities that increase the likelihood such as rereading, activating prior background knowledge, of comprehension, and adjusting reading speed (Van Den Broek Kremer, 2000). Metacognitive strategies can be specified as self-monitoring and regulating activities that focus on the product and the process of reading, supportÃ readers awareness of com prehension, and assist in the selection of cognitive strategies as a function of text difficulty, situational constraints, and the readers own cognitive abilities (Lories, 1998; Van Den Broek Kremer; Weisberg, Dardenne, Yzerbyt, 1988). There is no reason to believe that all elementary students spon Unfortunately, and skills knowledge taneously develop essential cognitive and metacognitive Research reviews, however, reveal Allington, 1999). (Hartman, 2001; Pressley that monitoring and regulating skills and effective application of relevant strate canÃ gies be taught (Dole et al. , 1991; Pressley, 2000; Pressley et al. , 1989). In this Jones, 1992; Block, 1993; respect, recent studies (Baumann, Seifert-Kessell, Dole et al. ; Dole, Brown, Thrathen, 1996; Pearson Fielding, 1991) and re of the National Reading Council (U. S. ; Snow et al. , 1998) underscore the ports value of explicit cognitive and metacognitive reading strategy instruction, for instruction takes the mystery out of the reading process, helping comprehension students assume control (Raphael, 2000, p. 76). As to the practice of teaching observation reÃ reading, however, little has changed since Durkins (1978-1979) instruction. The dominant instructional practice is into comprehension students about text content, still very traditional, characterized by questioning with little explicit attention to the strategic aspects of processing and compre hending text (Aarnoutse, 1995; Paris Oka, 1986; Pressley, Wharton-McDon 1986). ald, Hampston, Echevarr? a, 1998; Weterings Aarnoutse, search In addition to the importance of explicit reading strategies instruction, research the effects program of an innovativeÃ on the cognitive, and social, (Belgium) comprehension for reading The study was school children. emotional by a supported of elementary development Research-Flanders. Research grant of the Fund for Scientific Assistantship to: Hilde Van Keer, Department be addressed should of Education, Correspondence Hilde. VanKeer E-mail: Henri Dunantlaan Ghent Ghent, 2, 9000 Belgium. University, This study was part of a investigation long-term in Flanders instruction of @ UGent. Be This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and ConditionsÃ 293 Van Keer Verhaeghe has revealed that the development of reading competence in the elementary can be encouraged by interaction with peers (Almasi, 1996; Fuchs, Fuchs, grades Mathes, Simmons, 1997; Johnson-Glenberg, 2000; Mathes Fuchs, 1994; Mathes, Torgesen, Allor, 2001; Palincsar Brown, 1984; Rosenshine Meis ter, 1994; Simmons, Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes, Hodge, 1995). The traditional teacher-led evaluation interaction seems of pattern teacher question-student an to achieve insufficient actual response-teacher increase in comprehension,Ã higher level cognition, and the application of self-regulation strategies (Cazden, 1986). Relying on the teachers interpretive authority causes students to become passive learners. to become Conversely, students readers, self-regulated need to take an active role and to recognize and resolve their own discrepancies with texts (Almasi; Gourgey, 2001). Research has demonstrated that this kind of ac tive reading behavior is promoted by providing students with opportunities to en gage in peer-led interaction about texts. More particularly, it has been shown that, throughÃ students discussions, peer implement, conferences, evaluate, and peer modify and tutoring, strategies, activities, cooperative and discuss of transfer strategies (Klingner Vaughn, 1996; Klingner, Vaughn, Schumm, 1998; Pal incsar Brown, 1984). Moreover, discussions between peers provide opportu nities for metacognitive (Palincsar, David, Winn, exchanges and modeling 1991). In this way, childrens knowledge about reading and reading strategies, as well as their ability to apply relevant strategies, increases. Despite these convincing research results, student-centeredÃ discussion with regard to is anything but common practice in most classrooms reading comprehension Stevens, (Alvermann, 2000). In the present study, we attempted to narrow the gap between prevailing in structional practice and research evidence in the field of reading comprehension instruction. An innovative approach, blending research-based strategies instruction and to practice opportunities strategic the from practices research fields, was designed, aforementioned implemented, More specifically, the innovations comprised two cornerstones: and evaluated. explicit readingÃ reading in peer-tu toring dyads. Peer tutoring was introduced to stimulate student interaction be cause of the opportunities it creates to practice metacognitive skills. It should be noted that studies of peer tutoring in reading comprehension and thinking skills are relatively rare (Topping, 2001). Following research on peer-assisted learning strategies (e. g. , Fuchs, Fuchs, et al. , Mathes, 1997), c? as s wide peer tutoring (e. g. , Greenwood, 1991; Greenwood, Carta, Hall, 1988), and studies focusing on practicing reading strategies in small cooperative groups (e.g. , Brown, Pressley, Van Meter, Schuder, 1996; Palincsar Brown, 1984; Pressley et al, 1992; Stevens, Madden, Slavin, Famish, 1987; Stevens, Slavin, Famish, 1991), the present study involved training in comprehension strategies rather than tutoring students in word-level oral reading or low-level comprehension activities. Peer tutoring can be defined as people from similar social groupings who are This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 294. The Journal of Experimental Education not professionalÃ teachers helping each other to leam, and learning themselves by teaching (Topping, 1996, p. 322). This definition covers a series of practices, in cluding peers as one-on-one teachers to provide individualized instruction, prac tice, repetition, and clarification of concepts (Topping, 1988; Utley Mortweet, 1997). Peer tutoring is structurally embedded in the curriculum and classroom organization and is characterized by specific role taking: One person has the job of tutor, while the other is the tutee (Topping, 1996). Moreover, effective peer tu tutor training (Bentz Fuchs, 1996;toring is characterized by a preceding Fuchs, Fuchs, Bentz, Phillips, Hamlett, 1994; Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Phillips, Karns, Dutka, 1997). With regard to the dyad composition, two variants can be tutoring refers to older students tutoring younger stu distinguished. Cross-age in same-age tutoring, children are paired with classmates. The variant in dents; students alternate regularly between the tutor and tutee role is called rec iprocal same-age tutoring (Fantuzzo, King, Heller, 1992). Peer tutoring has been successful in a variety of curriculum areas and age groups. Research has indicated positive effects on academic achievement for both tutor and tutee (Cohen, Kulik, Kulik, 1982; Fantuzzo, Davis, Ginsburg, 1995; which Fantuzzo, Polite, Grayson, 1990; Fantuzzo et al. , 1992; Greenwood et al. , 1988; Mathes et al. , 2001 ;Simmons et al. , 1995). In this respect, peer tutoring is not only about transmission from the more able and experienced to the less able (Topping, 1996); tutors seem to benefit even more from tutoring than students who receive et al. ; Lambiotte et al. , the individual tuition (Fitz-Gibbon, 1988; Greenwood 1987). This can be explained by the nature of tutoring a peer: Tutors are chal to engage in ac lenged to consider the subject fully from different perspectives, to identify and correct errors, to reorganize and clarify their own tive monitoring knowledge and understandings, and to elaborate on information in their explana tions (Fuchs Fuchs, 2000). Because the application of reading strategies re quires actively monitoring the reading process, peer tutoring may be considered a powerful learning environment for the acquisition of reading comprehension the reading process of another reader might facilitate the ac skills. Monitoring of self-monitoring skills and, hence, the adequate application of reading quisition (1978) the strategies. From a theoretical perspective, consistent with Vygotskys ory of socially mediated learning, the object of the dyadic interaction in the peer tutoring activities is the joint construction of text meaning by appropriate appli cation of relevant reading strategies to a wide range of texts and, in the long term, the intemalization and consistently self-regulative flexible use of strategic pro cessing whenever encountering texts that are challenging to comprehend. Furthermore, positive effects also have been found on tutors and tutees social and emotional functioning, especially with regard to self-efficacy perceptions, self-concepts, social relationships, and attitudes toward the curriculum areas treated in the tutoring sessions (e. g. , Cohen et al. , 1982; Fantuzzo et al. , 1992; Fantuzzo et al. , 1995; Greenwood et al. , 1988; Mathes Fuchs, 1994). Regard This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 295 Van Keer Verhaeghe is an especially self-efficacyÃ important construct, ing reading comprehension, that attention to strategy instruction alone is not sufficient to produce max given imum reading growth (Casteel, Isom, Jordan, 2000). Affective factors result in deeper engagement with text, which translates into superior achievement. Henk and Melnick (1995) asserted that self-efficacy judgments can affect an individ uals overall orientation to the process of reading; influence choice of activities; affect continued involvement, amount of effort expended during reading, and the in pursuing text comprehension; And ultimately affect degree of persistence achievement. Our aim in the present intervention study was to design, implement, and evalu ate complex sets of instructional interventions in authentic classrooms to enhance second and fifth graders reading comprehension achievement and self-efficacy perceptions toward reading. The specific contribution of the present study is the focus on peer-tutoring variants as instructional techniques to practice the use of reading. More strategies. comprehension we specifically, concentrated on an ex of practicing reading strategies in (a)Ã plicit comparison teacher-led whole-class activities, (b) reciprocal same-age peer-tutoring activities, or (c) cross-age peer-tutoring activities within the same study for two different age groups. So far, cross- and same-age tutoring have not been compared within the same study, and there is only indirect reference material from themeta-analysis of of the relative merit Cohen and colleagues (1982) with regard to the differential impact. Furthermore, in the present study, we extend prior research by (a) sampling a larger number of studies; Participants than is typically the case in strategies-based comprehension (b) supporting teachers to implement the innovations in the natural classroom con text with the participation of all students of all abilities during an entire school year, which represents sensitivity to the interventions ecological validity; (c) tar geting students in the early and intermediate grades, populations that deserve more attention with regard tometacognitive and strategic behavior; (d) including maintenance long-term measures; (e) using standardized reading comprehension tests not directly linked to the treatment; and (f) applying multilevel modeling toÃ take the hierarchical nesting of students in classes into account. Based on a review of the research literature and the aforementioned lines of reasoning, we formulated the following hypotheses for the study: Hypothesis teacher-led 1. Explicit whole-class reading or peer-tutoring graders reading comprehension prehension strategies instruction, activities, achievement more followed enhances by practice second and in fifth than traditional reading com instruction. 2. Practicing reading strategies in cross-age or reciprocal same-age peer-tutoring activities generates larger positive changes in second and fifthÃ Hypothesis graders during comprehension whole-class achievement than more traditional activities. This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions teacher-led practice 296 The Journal Education of Experimental is more obvious for sec 3. Improvement in reading comprehension Hypothesis ond and fifth graders functioning as tutees and tutors, respectively, in cross-age peer-tutoring activities than for their peers alternating between the tutor and tutee roles in reciprocal same-age activities. Hypothesis 4. Cross-age and reciprocal same-age peer-tutoring activities second and fifth graders self-efficacy perceptions toward reading more ditional teacher-led instructional techniques. improve than tra 5. Improvement in self-efficacy perceptions toward reading is more Hypothesis obvious for second and fifth graders functioning as tutees and tutors, respective ly, in cross-age peer-tutoring activities than for their peers alternating roles in activities. same-age reciprocal Method Design We used a pretest, posttest, and retention test control group design. To ensure the ecological validity of the interventions, we included complete naturally com posed classes. Participating classes were assigned to one of four research condi tions. In the strategies-only condition (STRAT), the experimental intervention in cluded explicit reading strategies instruction, followed by practice in teacher-led whole-class settings. The experimental same-age (STRAT + SA) and cross-age included identical instruction in the (STRAT + CA) peer-tutoring conditions same cross-age dyads, or cross-age with combined strategies, In this respectively.Ã tutoring. Finally, class-wide we respect, included practice students a control in reciprocal experienced either characterized group, or same-age same by tra activities without explicit strategies instruction ditional reading comprehension or peer tutoring. Classes were randomly assigned to the STRAT or tutoring con ditions. Within the tutoring conditions, teachers opted in favor of the STRAT + SA or STRAT + CA condition according to the readiness of a colleague to col laborate in the STRAT + CA activities. We selected control group classes to match the experimental teachersÃ and classes. Because the classes were naturally composed and the assignment of classes to the conditions was not completely randomized, the design can be regarded as quasi-experimental. Participants In total, 444 second and 454 fifth graders from 44 classes in 25 different schools throughout Flanders (Belgium) participated in the study. Except for some small-scale initiatives of individual schools, peer tutoring was fairly unfamiliar at the time of the study. Other cooperative or interactive techniques, such as This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 297 Van Keer Verhaeghe and circle time, were better known and more group work, group discussion, fre used. quently Except for one inner-city school in the STRAT condition with mainly a low so status and ethnic minority population, all schools had a predomi cioeconomic Flemish population. The majority of the children were from middle nantly white, class families. Except for one second-grade class including only girls, there was approximately an equal gender distribution: In second- and fifth-grade classes, on = = 18.55) of the students were boys. At 16. 54) and 48% (SD average, 53% (SD the beginning of the school year, second graders were aged, on average, 7 years and 4 months, and fifth graders were aged, on average, 10 years and 5 months. The majority of the students (402 in second and 422 in fifth grade) were native speakers. Because elementary school students in Flanders are not grouped by ability, classes are considered academically heterogeneous, which was con firmed by the pretest reading comprehension measures. Class size ranged from 15 to 28 students, with an average of approximately 21 (SD = 3.50) in the second grade, and from 10 to 30 students in the fifth grade, with an average of approxi = mately 22 (SD 5. 00) students per class. Second- and fifth-grade teachers had, on Dutch average, 11 and 20 years of teaching experience, respectively. Four of 22 second grade and 5 of 22 fifth-grade teachers were men. None of the teachers had previ ous experience in explicit reading strategies instruction or peer tutoring. We selected participating teachers from a group of approximately 100 second and fifth-grade teachers who were willing to take part in a long-term research study. All interested teachers received a questionnaire concerning their teaching practices and opinions regarding learning and instruction. The first step in the teacher-selection we selected ative and interactive to pace according was procedure student-oriented instructional or content. who Furthermore, of the schools of matching and classes this specifically, in applying experienced cooper and able to build in differentiation we based the throughout Flanders with More questionnaire. were techniques graphical distribution teachers on based teachers regard to selection on the geo and on the possibility teachers teachingÃ experience, beliefs, and instructional practice; class size; students age; gender distribution; and dominating mother tongue. Table 1 shows the number of participating class es and students Measurement per condition. Instruments study, we used standardized tests to measure students reading achievement and decoding fluency. We administered question comprehension naires with respect to reading attitude, perceived competence, and preoccupation with attributions and self-efficacy perceptions toward reading. In the present Reading tests. We comprehension using Dutch standardized measured test batteries readingÃ comprehension (Staphorsius Krom, This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions achievement 1996; Verhoeven, 298 The Journal TABLE 1. Number of Participating Education of Experimental Classes and Students Grade Fifth Second Condition Classes STRAT + SA STRAT + CA STRAT Control 6 5 Note. cross-age 163 124 444 22 = explicit whole-class STRAT teacher-led peer-tutoring 22 101 69 177 107 454 66 8 Students 91 3 group Total Classes Students reading comprehension strategies instruction followed by practice in = activities; SA activities; CA = same-age peer-tutoringÃ reciprocal activities. 1993), which were selected based on the tests well-established psychometric the built-in adaptation to different student abilities, and the fact characteristics, that the tests address aspects of comprehension covered by the strategies part of occasion, we administered the experimental program. At each measurement with an increasing level of difficulty. The questions tiple-choice tence, the referral contained pretest second-grade asking relation for between short six the meaning words, stories, of each a word, the connection followed the meaning between by of sentences, tests 5 mulÃ a sen and the theme of a text. We determined the scores by the number of correct answers. The second-grade post- and retention tests consisted of four and three different stories, respectively, each followed by 4 to 10 multiple-choice questions, with a total of 25 questions per test. More specifically, questions concerning the content of a text (demanding a clear understanding of the meaning of words and sen tences, the referral relation between words, the connection between sentences, and the theme of the text) and questions concerning the communication between the author and the reader of the text (e.g. , objective of the author, intended target group, the authors attitude toward the matter raised) could be distinguished. Both types of questions required integration of information on different textual levels (words, sentences, paragraphs, text) and were more or less equally distrib uted over the 25 questions per text. After discussing an example, students com pleted the tests individually. To examine the tests internal consistency, Cron bachs a coefficients were calculated on our own data, yielding high reliability scores of . 90 (n = 432) for the pretest, . 84 (n = All) for the posttest, and . 83 (n = 385) for the retention test. In fifth grade, the tests consisted of three modules of 25 multiple-choice ques tions each. All students took the first module of the test. Depending on these first This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 299 Van Keer Verhaeghe results, students further completed an easier or more difficult module. Two types of questions requiring the integration of information on different textual levels could be distinguished: questions concerning the content and questions concern ing the communication the authorÃ between and the reader. an After stu example, dents completed the tests individually. Scores were determined by summing the correct answers. For the reading comprehension test, IRT-modeled scores were on Item Response Theory (IRT), a common scale had been de available: Based allowing us to veloped for different grades and test versions (easy-difficult), or more difficult part of the test. Because they are all on the compare the easier same scale, the IRT-modeled scores also allow for direct comparison of the re occasions. To verify the relia sults a student obtained at different measurementÃ bility of the three modules of the pre-, post-, and retention tests, we computed Cronbachs a coefficients on our own data. Table 2 indicates that reliability of all measures comprehension was acceptable. test. We included second graders decoding fluency, which is a Decoding fluency combination of accuracy and decoding speed (Chard, Simmons, Kameenui, 1998), as an additional variable, because fluency can be considered a mediating factor on students reading comprehension achievement (Pressley, 2000). A stan dardized test (Brus, 1969) was administered individually toÃ all second graders; students were asked to read unrelated words with an increasing level of difficul ty during exactly 1min. The score was determined by counting the number of words read correctly. We collected fluency data in second-grade classes only be cause it is recognized that reading fluency is generally well developed at the end of the third grade (Bast Reitsma, 1998; Sticht James, 1984) and because it was too time to test consuming all fifth graders as well. individually on self-efficacy perceptions and related causal attributions. With QuestionnaireÃ in the framework of the present study, we developed a questionnaire to measure TABLE a Coefficients 2. Cronbachs Comprehension for the Fifth-Grade Reading Tests Measurement occasion Posttest Pretest Test module n n an a .81 1 .76 2 3 .66 Note. At each measurement used. 468 167 271 occasion a different Retention test a .72 .76 .74 test with 442 256 175 an increasing This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .76 .79 .77 41 level of difficulty 403 362 was 300. The Journal Education of ExperimentalÃ students preoccupation with positive or negative thoughts or related causal attri butions with regard to their reading ability. Inspired by the work of Ames (1984), we asked children to report how often such thoughts crossed their mind before, during, or after reading. Factor analysis revealed that success attributions and positive thoughts about ones own reading competence on the one hand and fail ure attributions and negative self-efficacy perceptions on the other hand are very (1984) and closely related. This result is in line with the findings of Marsh and Debus (1984), who stated that self-attribuÃ Marsh, Cairns, Relich, Barnes, can tions seen be as or expressions indicators ones of or self-concept self-effi we constructed two scales reflecting negative and cacy perceptions. Therefore, about ones own reading abilities. It should be positive thoughts, respectively, noted that capturing the incidence of self-efficacy-related thoughts does not give a direct measure of students self-efficacy perception but rather indicates the de a student is preoccupied with such thoughts. In this respect, related to (meta)cognitive activity than data collected gree to which data are more means the directly of moreÃ traditional a However, questionnaires. self-concept by inci high dence of negative self-efficacy-related thoughts can be considered an indication of a low self-efficacy perception, but such a conclusion cannot be drawn from a low incidence of positive self-efficacy-related thoughts. The latter suggests only that the student is not preoccupied with thoughts about reading proficiency or success. We administered read graders and completed at each the questionnaire the questionnaire measurement occasion. In individually. second Fifth all grade, items were read out loud to and judged individually by the students. As can be seen in Table 3, reliability was high for the negative subscale, but it was somewhat lower for the positive subscale. To investigate the validity of the both questionnaire, TABLE scales were correlated a Coefficients 3. Cronbachs Preoccupation With Attributions with for the scholastic the Questionnaire Measurement 2nd grade Success Concerning occasion attributions negative 2nd grade 5th grade and self-efficacy perceptions Failure Posttest 5th grade anananan scale attributions positive sub and Self-Efficacy Perceptions Pretest Questionnaire competence .63 419 .69 441 .75 402 .71 426 367 .83 408 .84 368 .81 393 and self-efficacy perceptions .77 This content downloaded on Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:52:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 301 Van Keer Verhaeghe scale of a Dutch Profile for Children (Harter, version of the Self-Perception 1985). These analyses revealed that both positive and negative self-efficacy per ceptions were significantly (p 0. 01) correlated with the scholastic self-concept subscale with r = -. 40 (pretest) and r = -. 37 (posttest) for the negative self-effi = . 22 = . 19 cacy subscale and r (posttest) for the positive self-efÃ (pretest) and r subscale. ficacy scale. Although we mainly focused on students self-effi cacy perceptions directly related to reading activities, we administered an exist (Veerman, Straathof, Treffers, Van den Bergh, ing self-concept questionnaire ten Brink, 1997), which is a Dutch version of the Self-Perception Profile for Children (Harter, 1985). Because the questionnaire was not appropriate for sec Perceived competence ond graders, we used the instrument with the fifth-grade group only. To verify the reliability of the different scales, we computed Cronbachs a coefficients. As can be seen in Table 4, the reliability of the measures was acceptable. As to the ques tionnaires validity, Veerman and colleagues investigations into the validity of self-report reported that, compared with other scales, the validity can be judged as moderate. Reading attitude scale. Both second and fifth graders completed a Dutch Read ing Attitude Scale (Aarnoutse, 1996) at the pre- and posttest. Fifth graders read and completed the questionnaire individually.