Situated Actions During Reading Lessons: A Microanalysis of Oral Reading Error Episodes

Clark A. Chinn, Martha A. Waggoner, Richard C. Anderson, Marlene Schommer, Ian A. G. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A microanalysis was completed of 3,003 oral reading error episodes during 72 small-group reading lessons involving 116 students in three second-grade and three third-grade classrooms. Factors were investigated that influenced (a) oral reading errors made by readers, (b) the readers’ reactions to their own errors, and (c) the teachers’ feedback following errors. Characteristics of errors were influenced by such factors as the individual reader’s comprehension ability, the difficulty of the text, and teacher rates of feedback. Readers’ reactions were generally influenced by the same set of factors, together with the characteristics of the errors themselves. The patterns of teachers’ feedback suggested that they were juggling several goals: maintaining pace, preserving meaning, and helping students who were having difficulty with decoding. One way in which teachers appeared to reach a compromise among these aims was to employ stereotyped feedback routines. The results support the idea that the actions of students and teachers during error episodes are situated in social contexts, emerging in response to a dynamic interplay of factors that converge at particular moments.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-392
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1993


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