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LEVEL OF READING FLUENCY AND DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED BY

ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM (ALS) LEARNERS OF CALAPAN WEST


DISTRICT

A Research Proposal

of

Carla B. Ledesma
MAEd-ELT
Chapter I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Fluency is a fundamental reading skill that is essential in understanding the text.

Without fluency, out-of-school learners will find difficulty in making connections and fully

comprehending the texts specifically that they missed the formal or classroom style of

learning the macro skills. Reading fluency creates a bridge towards reading

comprehension therefore it is a vital skill that one has to master. Choosing the appropriate

fluency strategies will contribute to improve the overall reading comprehension for out of

school learners. Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression

(Rasinski, 2006). Learners who failed to understand the text they are reading are

considered non fluent readers. They also find difficulty in decoding which hindered to

finding the meaning and clear understanding of the texts whereas fluent readers are those

who are able to interact on an advanced level.

Today, more than ever, the ability to read and comprehend what is read is crucial

to becoming successful in global and information-driven society (Connor et al., 2011),

reading programs must lead students to acquire essential reading skills that enable them

to learn and enjoy from printed materials (Torgesen, 2002). There are certain English

reading proficiencies that include phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency,

vocabulary, and reading comprehension that have been confirmed through research to
be needed in order to become a proficient reader. Lack of one of these skills may lead to

difficulties in acquiring proficiency in reading English (Chafouleas, Martens, Dobson,

Weinstein, & Gardner, 2004; Therrien, 2004).

A growing body of evidence points particularly to reading fluency in English as an

important factor in student reading success. Reading fluency is primarily defined as how

fast and accurately with appropriate prosody or expression a person reads a passage

(Hudson, Lane, & Pullen, 2005). In school settings, judgments about reading ability are

often made on the basis of students' oral reading fluency. Thus, teachers, researchers,

parents, and children alike generally are keenly aware of reading fluency and its

importance for proficient reading (Rasinski, 1989; Rasinski, 2003; Rasinski, 2004a;

Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003).

Fluent reading occurs at different levels, including sublexical, lexical, and

connected text (context oral reading fluency) (Hudson, Lane, Pullen, & Torgesen, 2009).

Isolated word reading fluency (word-level fluency or list reading fluency) has been

measured by having students read list words as quickly and accurately as possible, but,

by contrast context reading fluency is assessed by having students read words in a

connected text as quickly and accurately as possible.

There is a growing body research showing that connected text reading fluency

in English makes more contribution to reading comprehension than isolated word reading

fluency (list reading fluency) (Fuchs et al., 2001; Kim et al., 2011; Klauda & Guthrie, 2008).

Connected text reading fluency is affected by a variety of oral language skills beyond

word decoding
Alternative Learning System (ALS) Implementers are thinking on how to develop

reading fluency among ALS learners in preparation for ALS Accreditation and

Equivalency Test (A&E Test). As the performance of the learners continues to facing

challenges in learning strands written in English, the researcher felt the need to conduct

this study on hand and find the appropriate reading activities that will help them become

fluent readers.

Statement of the Problem

This study aims to determine the level of reading fluency and difficulties

encountered of ALS learners.

Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions:

1. What is the level of reading fluency of respondents in terms of the following:

1.1. automaticity;

1.2. accuracy; and

1.3. prosody?

2. What are the difficulties encountered by respondents in reading in terms of

the following:

2.1. vocabulary;

2.2. decoding fluency; and

2.3. reading comprehension?


3. Is there a significant relationship in the level of reading fluency and the level

of difficulties encountered by the respondents?

4. Is there a significant difference in the level of reading fluency of the

respondents?

5. Is there a significant difference in the level of difficulties encountered by the

respondents?

6. Based on the findings of the study, what A & E Reading Activities may be

proposed?

Statement of the Hypothesis

1. There is no significant relationship between the level of reading fluency and the

difficulties encountered by ALS learners across indicators.

2. There is no significant difference in the level of reading fluency of the respondents

across indicators.

3. There is no significant difference on the difficulties encountered by the respondents

across indicators.

Significance of the study

The findings of the study would be beneficial to the following:

ALS Learners. The results of the study could help them know their strengths and

weaknesses towards becoming fluent readers so that they would be able to further

improve their reading performance.


ALS Mobile Teachers. The results of the study could help them know the best way of in

improving learners’ reading performance and that they would be able to apply the most

appropriate teaching approach in dealing with their learners to make them English

inclined and fluent readers.

Education Program Supervisors. The results of the study would give some insights on

the level of reading fluency of ALS learners relating to the learning styles, difficulties

encountered and their performance in the A & E Test.

Future Researchers. The findings of the study could serve as a reference for the future

researchers who would conduct similar study.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study focuses on the level of reading fluency and the difficulties encountered

by ALS learners of Calapan West District. The level of reading fluency of ALS learners

will be measured in terms of Automaticity, Prosody and Accuracy. The level of difficulties

encountered by ALS learners will be measured in terms of Vocabulary, Reading

Comprehension and Decoding Fluency.

It will be limited to ALS learners of Calapan West District. The study will be

conducted during the last quarter of Academic Year 2018.


Definition of Terms

To facilitate a better understanding of this study, the following terms are

conceptually defined.

Accreditation and Equivalency Test (A&E) Test. This refers to a paper and pencil

test designed to measure the competencies of those who have neither attended nor

finished elementary or secondary education in the formal school system.

Accuracy. This refers to the ability to correctly generate a phonological representation of

each word, either because it is part of the reader’s sight-word vocabulary or by use of a

more effortful decoding strategy such as sounding out the word.

Alternative Learning System (ALS). This refers to a parallel learning system in the

Philippines that provides a practical option to the existing formal instruction designed for

dropouts in elementary and secondary schools, out-of-school youths, non-readers,

working Filipinos and even senior citizens to finish basic education.

ALS Learners. These refer to out-of-school youth and adult catered by ALS programs.

Automaticity. This refers to the ability to fast and effortlessly recognize word that comes

with a great deal of reading practice.

Decoding. This refers to the ability to translate print into speech by rapidly matching a

letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognizing

the patterns that make syllables and words.


Prosody. This refers to the ability to read with proper phrasing and expression,

introducing text with suitable volume, stress, pitch and intonation.

Reading Comprehension. This refers to the ability to appropriately understand the text

as a whole.

Reading fluency. It refers to “accurate reading at a minimal rate with appropriate

prosodic features and deep understanding” (Hudson, Mercer, & Lane, 2000)

Vocabulary. This refers to the ability to easily recognize or use words in print.

Theoretical Framework

The study is anchored on various theories and insights from some English

learning principles.

Reading doesn’t end with the ability to recognize letter sounds but in order to read

fluently one should learn the deeper meaning behind those letters. Reading fluency forms

a bridge from decoding to comprehension (Rasinski, 2004).

Reading Fluency refers to the ability to decode and comprehend text at the same

time (NICHD, 2000; Samuels, 2006). This definition of reading fluency has been

expanded from earlier conceptualizations, which focused only on word recognition (Harris

& Hodges, 1995) and those that focused solely on the components or indicators of fluency

without attention to the larger concept of fluency.

Accuracy of decoding refers to the ability to correctly generate a phonological

representation of each word, either because it is part of the reader’s sight-word


vocabulary or by use of a more effortful decoding strategy such as sounding out the word.

Skills required for accuracy of decoding include: alphabetic principles, the ability to blend

sounds, the ability to use cues to identify words in text, and a large sight-word vocabulary

of high-frequency words (Torgesen & Hudson, 2006). Accurate decoding is a requirement

for building the next component of reading fluency – automaticity.

Moreover, automaticity of word recognition refers to the ability to quickly recognize

words automatically, with little cognitive effort or attention. Automaticity is gained through

practice to the point where previously effortful tasks, such word decoding, become fast

and effortless – freeing up cognitive resources for other tasks, such as text

comprehension. Furthermore, it requires quick and accurate identification of individual

words as well as speed and fluidity in reading connected text (Torgesen & Hudson, 2006).

It is a requirement for building the next component of reading fluency – prosody – as the

automatic decoding of words frees up attentional resources required for prosody.

On the other hand, prosody of oral text reading refers to naturalness of reading, or

the ability to read with proper phrasing and expression, imbuing text with suitable volume,

stress, pitch and intonation. Prosody is an indicator that the reader is actively constructing

the meaning of a passage as they read (Torgesen & Hudson, 2006). Indeed, prosody

may both serve as an indicator that a student is comprehending as they read and also

aid comprehension (Rasinski, 2004).

In other words, fluent reading should sound like speech (Stahl & Kuhn, 2002). The

research is just emerging on the role of prosody in reading and at this point there is only
minimal evidence that prosodic reading serves as a significant mediator of reading

comprehension (Schwanenflugel et al., 2004).

Thus, to develop fluency readers require letter familiarity, phonemic awareness,

and phonics, along with a vocabulary of high frequency words, knowledge of word parts

and spelling patterns (rimes and phonographs), decoding strategies, and oral language

skills (Ehri, 1995, 1998).

In the 1970s, LaBerge and Samuels studied what happens when students read

passages over and over again. They found that when students reread passages, they got

faster at reading the passages, understood them better, and were able to read

subsequent passages better as a result of the repeated reading.

Vocabulary development is affected by reading fluency. Some struggling readers,

especially those who have been diagnosed as having dyslexia, have an understanding of

spoken words (listening vocabulary) that is at times even superior to their normally

progressing peers (Wolf, 2002). However, in order for a student to apply their

understanding of the vocabulary in text, they must be able to read that text accurately and

at a reasonable and appropriate rate.

Reading fluency is situational (Samuels, 2006; Topping, 2006). For example,

though your reading of this article is fluent, the reading of some academic articles is likely

to be fluent only for those with specific subject-matter expertise. Sources of variability in

fluency within an individual include: readability level of the text (proportion of words that

can be recognized automatically, by sight), the student’s familiarity with the topic (sight-
word vocabulary and ability to use context to aid word identification), and the priority the

student gives to speed versus accuracy in the specific situation (Topping, 2006).

Conceptual Framework

Level of Reading Fluency of Difficulties encountered by


ALS learners in terms of: ALS learners in terms of:
1. Speed 1. Vocabulary
2. Accuracy 2. Decoding Fluency
3. Prosody 3. Comprehension

Basis for the development of


Accreditation & Equivalency (A&E)
Reading Activities

Figure 1. The hypothesized relationships and differences between and among the
variables of the study.

As shown, the independent variable of the study is the level of reading fluency of

ALS learners in terms of speed, accuracy and prosody. On the other hand, the dependent

variable is the difficulties encountered by ALS learners in terms of vocabulary, decoding

fluency and comprehension.

The study examines the relationship between the level of reading fluency of ALS

learners and the difficulties encountered by ALS learners.

It also determines the differences in the level of reading fluency of ALS learners

across indicators, and the difficulties encountered by ALS learners across indicators.
Chapter II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

This chapter presents the related literature and studies of the study on hand.

Related Literature

Foreign

The National Reading Panel’s (NRP; 2000) survey of research in reading

determined that reading fluency was, indeed, one of the pillars of effective reading

instruction. Subsequent summaries of reading research have also determined that there

is a solid body of research that supports reading fluency instruction (Chard, Vaughn, &

Tyler, 2002; Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski, 2010; Rasinski & Hoffman, 2003; Rasinski,

Reutzel, Chard, & Linan-Thompson, 2011). In this article, I explore why fluency has

become such a pariah in the reading field, and I also discuss why it should be a central

element to any effective fluency curriculum and how this can happen.

Pikulski and Chard (2005) described fluency as a bridge from word recognition

accuracy to text comprehension. Fluency has two essential components: automaticity and

prosody.

Neddenriep et al. (2010) concluded that implementing repeated readings with

practice, feedback, and modelling ultimately resulted in an overall increase in

comprehension.
Evidence of this emphasis on reading speed can be seen in the ever increasing

norms for reading rate that have appeared in some commercial fluency programs

(Rasinski & Hamman, 2010).

A growing body of research is demonstrating that prosody in oral reading is

related to overall proficiency in reading (Benjamin & Schwanenflugel, 2010; Miller &

Schwanenflugel, 2006, 2008). Moreover, prosody is not an issue solely for oral reading.

several studies have found that readers at the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth grade levels

who read orally with good prosody also tend to be good comprehenders when reading

silently (Daane et al., 2005; Pinnell et al., 1995; Rasinski, Rikli, & Johnston, 2009).

Conversely, these same studies have found that readers who read with poor prosody (in

a monotone and word-by-word manner) also have poor comprehension when reading

silently.

Fluent reading occurs at different levels, including sublexical, lexical, and

connected text (context oral reading fluency) (Hudson, Lane, Pullen, & Torgesen, 2009).

Isolated word reading fluency (word-level fluency or list reading fluency) has been

measured by having students read list words as quickly and accurately as possible, but,

by contrast context reading fluency is assessed by having students read words in a

connected text as quickly and accurately as possible.

There is a growing body research showing that connected text reading fluency

in English makes more contribution to reading comprehension than isolated word reading

fluency (list reading fluency) (Fuchs et al., 2001; Kim et al., 2011; Klauda & Guthrie, 2008).

Connected text reading fluency is affected by a variety of oral language skills beyond

word decoding.
Local

Comprehension is the prime goal of reading and comprehension failures can

lead to school failures. Despite the Philippines supposedly high literacy rate of 88.6 %,

many Filipinos can barely read and write (Juan Miguel Cruz, 2007, cited in Selangan,

2015. He noted;

This is true especially to those living in remote areas as well as the slum

areas of the country. Someone once remarked that we are not a nation of readers; we

are a nation of storytellers. Ours is a culture of oral history passed on by word of mouth

not through the written word.

Orencia (2006) questions why the Philippines continue to be poor despite of

its high literacy rate and found out that Filipinos are not a reading populace. The

consumption of reading materials is way behind the Asian neighbors(Ople 1993; Locsin

1992; Nemenzo 1992, cited in Orencia, 2006).

Many studies conducted and many surveys commissioned support the fact

that many students have difficulty comprehending what they read. All schools need to

have some sort of remedial reading program to help struggling students. Through the

program it will make the students create reading as a habit. Orencia (2006) noted;

Children only learn only half of what they are supposed to learn in school.

The small percentage of readership in the [Philippines] and the dismal performance of

pupils in tests on reading demonstrate the failure of many local schools to effectively

foster the aims of reading education. People’s survival and satisfaction in today’s age of
information explosion depend largely on their ability to read and write proficiently and

critically. (p. 3, 4)

In the local context, Mante (2009) in Ilustre (2011) sought to identify

factors that affected Filipino bilingual high school student’s reading comprehension in

English. The objective of her paper was twofold; first was to determine and measure the

participants' dimensions of motivation to read, and second was to identify the

relationships between the participants’ motivation to read in English, their reading

comprehension and their use of meta-cognitive reading strategies when reading in the

same language. Results were not conclusive as to whether reading motivation or use of

meta-cognitive reading strategies affects reading comprehension more for there was no

single predictor of the reading test scores.

On the contrary, Anderson (1994) as cited in Lastrella (2010) presented

that the recall of information in a text is affected by the reader’s schemata and explains

that a reader comprehends a message when he is able to bring to mind a schema that

gives account of the objects and events described in the message. Moreover, Wilson

(1972) in Marquez (2008) stated that the lack of educational opportunity and reading

materials among poor families contribute to the performance and competence of the

learner.

Educational attainment of the parents of the respondents also matter.

Students whose parents have higher educational background perform well than those

whose parents only attained elementary or high school education. This is because the

former are able to provide more learning experiences that are essential to the development of the

student’s reading skills and other aspects as well (Lardizabal, 1981 in Marquez, 2008).
Chapter III

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter presents the research methodology of the study.

Research Design

Descriptive-correlational and comparative methods of research will be used in this

study.

According to Adanza (2007), descriptive-correlational method of research is

designed as reference on how the independent variable relates to the dependent variable

to show the cause-effect relationship.

In this study, the level of reading fluency and difficulties encountered by the

respondents will be correlated to the reading fluency of the respondents.

According to Best and Khan (2006), descriptive-comparative method of research

is designed to compare two or more things with a view of discovering something about

one or all of the things being compared.

In this study, differences in the level of reading fluency and difficulties encountered by

the respondents will be compared.


Research Locale

This study will be conducted in fifteen (15) selected barangays in Calapan West

District namely: Canubing I & II, Sta. Rita, Patas, Tawiran, Sta. Isabel, Mahal na

Pangalan, Wawa, Baruyan, Personas, Comunal, Masipit, Balite, Tibag, and Pachoca.

Calapan West District is located in Calapan City Division having two (2) mobile

teachers headed by a District ALS Coordinator (DALSC).

Respondents of the Study

The respondents of the study will be ninety one (91) ALS learners generated from

a population of two hundred thirty three (233) enrolled for the school year 2018 – 2019.

Sampling Technique

The respondents of the study will be selected with the use of proportional stratified

random sampling technique. G-power Analysis is used to identify the sample size of the

study using effect size of 0.25, power value of 0.95 and error of 0.05.

The distribution of respondents is presented in Table A.

Table A. Distribution of Respondents

Barangay Population Sample


Sta. Isabel 35 10

Mahal na Pangalan 10 5

Wawa 8 3

Personas 14 6

Baruyan 10 4

Canubing I 25 11

Canubing II 13 5

Sta. Rita 11 4

Patas 15 5

Tawiran 12 3

Comunal 26 12

Masipit 14 7

Balite 12 6

Pachoca 13 7

Tibag 15 3

Total 233 91

Source: DepEd Calapan City

Research Instrument

The study will use a self-made questionnaire on the level of reading fluency and

difficulties encountered.
Part I will deal on items which measure the level of reading fluency of the

respondents in terms of automaticity accuracy, and prosody. Part II will deal on items

which measure the difficulties encountered by the respondents in terms of vocabulary,

decoding fluency, and comprehension.

Validation of the Instrument

Validation of items will be done with the help of one (1) Education Program Specialist,

one (1) Master Teacher, and one (1) Teacher III who are experts in the field. Dr. Joey B.

Gutierrez, English Supervisor of DepEd- Calapan City.

Reliability of the Research Instrument

A test-retest method will be used in the study. The instrument will be pre-tested to ten

(10) non-respondents in Barangay Sta. Isabel . After ten (10) days, the questionnaire will

be re-administered to the same ten (10) respondents. The reliability of the instrument will

be determined using Pearson’s r.


Scoring and Quantification of Data

The level of reading fluency and the level of difficulties encountered by the respondents

will be described using a 5-point numerical scale with its statistical limits shown below.

Numerical Scale Statistical Limit Verbal Description

5 4.50-5.00 Very High

4 3.50-4.49 High

3 2.50-3.49 Moderate

2 1.50-2.49 Low

1 1.00-1.49 Very Low

Data Gathering Procedure

A letter of request endorsed by the Director for Graduate Studies will be sent to the

Schools Division Superintendent for approval. After its approval, it will be presented to

the District ALS Coordinator (DALSC) of the district where the study will be conducted.

The researcher will personally administer the questionnaire to the respondents.

Retrieved will be done after an hour.

Statistical Treatment of Data

Data gathered will be described using weighted mean and rank. To determine the

differences among the indicators, One Way Analysis of Variance will be used. To test the
relationships between the independent variables and dependent variable, Pearson’s

Product Moment Correlation Coefficient will be employed.

The statistical methods will be used in the analysis of data gathered are the following:

1. Weighted Mean. This will be used to compute the level of reading fluency and the

level of difficulties encountered by the respondents.

2. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient. This statistical tool will be

used to test the magnitude and direction of the relationship between the variables.

3. One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). This will be used to determine the

magnitude of differences in the level of reading fluency and the difficulties

encountered by ALS learners, and math anxiety encountered across its indicators.