Students struggle to string syllables together


The graph in this article uses books to represent a side-by-side bar graph for boys and girls showing the percentage of errors made when reading three-syllable words. One must be careful in reading the graph to note that it is the top of the bound spine of the book which should be used as a reference for reading the percentage on the left hand axis. This would be a good discussion point with students who should see that using the highest point on the book would result in percentages greater than 100%, which are impossible. Not much is made in the article about the differences between males and females but this could be a starter for discussion. Early in the article there is a comment which could be interpreted to mean that the same children were tested at ages 7 and 12, since "almost 40 percent of these children still make the same mistake." Clearly the study of 650 six- to 14-year-olds could not have been longitudinal in nature. Another feature of the article accompanying the graph is the telling of 'one significant story' to illustrate a point made in relation to the data. This represents a 'sample of size one' and should be regarded with caution.


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