The Reading Abilities of College Students

The Reading Abilities of College Students: An Experimental Study

ALVIN C. EURICH
Copyright Date: 1931
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsf09
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  • Book Info
    The Reading Abilities of College Students
    Book Description:

    The Reading Abilities of College Students was first published in 1931. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. How well do college students read? Can they be taught to read more intelligently by the means of intensive drills and vocabulary tests? The prevalent interest in these and similar questions has led Dr. Alvin Eurich to conduct at the University of Minnesota the carefully controlled experiment described in this volume. The special training given the experimental group is described in detail; the tests used to measure comprehension and retention of material read, rate of reading, habits of study, and vocabulary are explained and evaluated; and the relative improvement in reading skill made by students who were given special training and by those who had no such training is carefully analyzed.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3776-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  3. PART I. INTRODUCTION
    • CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM
      (pp. 3-5)

      The reading abilities of elementary school children have been under the scrutiny of able investigators throughout a period of years. As a result of extensive researches and widespread attention to the problem the method of teaching reading in the classroom has been radically modified. Considerably less extensive have been the investigations of the reading abilities of secondary school pupils. This has been true largely because of the generally accepted view that pupils tend to fix their reading habits during the plastic years in the elementary school and thus enter the high school prepared to restrict their attentive processes to the...

    • CHAPTER II A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
      (pp. 6-14)

      The recent literature relative to reading habits is not only vast in quantity but extensive in scope. Evidence of this fact is readily accessible in Gray’sSummary of Investigations Relating to Reading¹ and the five supplements that have been published since the first monograph came from the press. In 1925 Gray compiled a table showing the trend in the number of scientific studies of reading made in England and America from 1880 to 1924. The present writer has extended this table (Table 1) to include the literature published up to June 30, 1930.

      An analysis of Table 1 reveals that...

  4. PART II. READING TESTS AND SCALES
    • CHAPTER III THE MINNESOTA READING EXAMINATION FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS, REVISED FORM
      (pp. 17-40)

      That comprehension is fundamentally essential for effective reading is axiomatic. The multiplicity of psychological, physiological, and mechanical elements involved in comprehension, however, have never been satisfactorily isolated; and therefore the task of constructing a test to measure comprehension in reading is a complex one. The manner in which it has been sought to measure this factor in the Minnesota Reading Examination for College Students is not unique. Part I of the test is a measure of vocabulary. The hundred words comprising this section were derived entirely from Forms A and B of the Haggerty Reading Examination, Sigma X. Part II...

    • CHAPTER IV MINNESOTA READING EXAMINATION Xi XIII
      (pp. 41-53)

      Reading has no particular influence in broadening the experiences of an individual unless what is read is retained. One may comprehend while reading and yet immediately following the process forget the ideas expressed by the printed words. This phenomenon practically forces one to the position that comprehension and retention are two separate functions of the reading process. The reports of investigations are confusing on this point, since a number of studies are reported in which comprehension is measured by the amount of a passage an individual can reproduce immediately after he has read it. Because of this unwarranted and unrestricted...

    • CHAPTER V THE MINNESOTA SPEED OF READING TEST FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
      (pp. 54-61)

      The measurement of rate of reading is no less intricate than the measurement of comprehension. Without doubt it is inextricably bound up with comprehension. The expression of this fact has been well phrased by Foran in his statement that “it is evident that the rate at which a pupil reads is conditioned in part by the purpose of his reading, the nature of the subject matter, and his difficulty in understanding it. The last named is due in part to the first two, but also exists independently, since the same type of subject matter may have widely separated degrees of...

    • CHAPTER VI A STUDIOUSNESS RATING SCALE
      (pp. 62-72)

      The current wave of interest in diagnosing scholastic deficiencies among college students has led to numerous prescriptions relative to study habits. These have been listed in pamphlets and amplified in books without actual evaluation of their efficacy in practical study situations. To supplement the reading tests described in the last three chapters, it was thought advisable to assemble a large number of these formulae in the form of a self-rating scale to ascertain whether the ratings of poor students were markedly different from those of superior students. A list of a hundred recommendations for reading and study was compiled and...

    • CHAPTER VII A VOCABULARY TEST FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
      (pp. 73-78)

      The reader may rightfully question at this point the necessity for a general vocabulary test, since Part I of the Minnesota Reading Examination was prepared for the measurement of vocabulary. It will be recalled, however, that the testing time allotted to Part I of the reading test was only six minutes. This factor makes the test not only one of vocabulary but also of the rate at which an individual can respond. In the face of this fact, a vocabulary test that would be essentially a power test and represent all degrees of difficulty—from very easy to very hard...

  5. PART III. EXPERIMENTS IN READING
    • CHAPTER VIII AN EXPERIMENT TO DETERMINE THE EFFICACY OF DRILLS IN READING, VOCABULARY, AND STUDY
      (pp. 81-108)

      As stated in the first chapter, the purpose of Reading Experiment I was to study the effect that drills in vocabulary, paragraph reading, and study have upon reading efficiency, vocabulary, marks in English, and marks in all subjects taken by the students.

      The subjects used in this experiment were freshmen at the University of Minnesota enrolled in English Composition 4 during the fall quarter of 1928. When plans for the experiment were being formulated, four sections of this course were selected to comprise the experimental group and four to comprise the control group. A minimum enrollment of 30 students was...

    • CHAPTER IX AN EXPERIMENT TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF VOCABULARY EXERCISES: READING EXPERIMENT II
      (pp. 109-122)

      The main problem of the second experiment differed from the first in that it sought to isolate more thoroughly one of the factors involved in reading and to study the effect of more intensive drills upon that factor. Vocabulary exercises were chosen to determine the effect of such drills upon general vocabulary, paragraph reading, speed of reading, and scholastic achievement.

      The subjects of Reading Experiment II were freshmen in the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics enrolled in Rhetoric 1f. The experimental group consisted of three sections with a total registration of eighty-nine. Of this number seven students either...

    • CHAPTER X AN EXPERIMENT TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF PARAGRAPH READING EXERCISES: READING EXPERIMENT III
      (pp. 123-131)

      The general purpose of Reading Experiment III was similar to that of Reading Experiment II, since it, too, sought to evaluate a specific type of drill. In lieu of the vocabulary exercises, the emphasis was placed upon paragraph reading in an effort to improve reading comprehension, retention, and scholastic proficiency.

      The experimental and control groups were the same as in Experiment II, except for certain students who were forced to make changes in class schedules for the winter quarter of 1928-29. The experimental groups consisted of two sections with a total registration of 77; the three sections of the control...

    • CHAPTER XI AN ADDITIONAL EXPERIMENT TO EVALUATE VOCABULARY DRILLS: READING EXPERIMENT IV
      (pp. 132-167)

      The results of the experiments reported in the last three chapters are consistent in showing that vocabulary exercises are effective to the extent that students improve their scores on the vocabulary tests which overlap the drills. This improvement, however, appeared to be only temporary. Furthermore, there was no evidence of transfer to general vocabulary, as the differences between the experimental and control groups were insignificant on the tests that do not overlap the vocabulary exercises. Results such as these immediately arouse interest in the problem of making the temporary improvement permanent and extending the increment to general vocabulary as well....

    • CHAPTER XII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
      (pp. 168-180)

      The investigation reported in the foregoing chapters sought to evaluate the efficacy of reading, vocabulary, and study exercises in improving reading comprehension, rate of reading, specific vocabulary, general vocabulary, retention in reading, English composition, general scholarship, and general mental ability as measured by the Minnesota College Ability Test. This problem has grown out of the widespread interest and enthusiastic attempts to improve the reading and study abilities of relatively mature individuals. Recently this fervor has been particularly directed towards college students. The trend is a most natural one in view of the vast growth of college and university populations within...

  6. APPENDIX SUPPLEMENTARY DATA DERIVED FROM EXPERIMENTS I, II, III, AND IV
    (pp. 181-200)
  7. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 201-204)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 205-208)