Miscues: Everything You Need to Know

Refers to the blunders a child encounters when reading. Reading miscues refer to the difference between what students say during oral reading and what’s on the page. Reading miscues aren’t ‘errors’ because often, they may symbolize mature reading behavior.

Some miscues to look for during a miscue analysis are:

·         Correction: This is where the child corrects to make sense of the word in a sentence.

·         Insertion: The child adds a new word to the sentence while reading out loud.

·         Omission: The child omits a word that often changes the sentence’s meaning.

·         Repetition: The child repeats a specific word or part of the text.

·         Reversal: This involves reversing a part of the text or rearranging a few words (such as from instead of form)

·         Substitution: The child substitutes a word in the text, which may or may not make sense in the passage.

What do these miscues indicate? When the child self-corrects, it’s good. But if the child is miscorrecting accurate reading, the teacher needs to step in because such a miscue indicates the child doesn’t consider themselves to be a ‘good’ reader.

When an inserted word detracts from the original meaning or involves something, say, where finished is inserted for finish, the teacher should address it. But if insertion doesn’t do these, it may indicate the child was trying to making sense with the inserts or perhaps reading too fast.

Omission of words indicates weaker visual tracking. The teacher should notice if this affected the meaning of the text. If not, omissions could have been caused due to speedy reading or lack of focus. It may also indicate a weaker sight of the child.

If a child makes a lot of repetitions, it may point to the text being too difficult. Sometimes, the child may repeat when he’s uncertain and will continue repeating the word(s) to ensure the words keep flowing as they regroup.

Reversals could often cause altered meanings. Young readers typically make reversal miscues when there are high-frequency words. These miscues can also occur when the child has difficulty with scanning the text from left to right.

When a child fails to understand the word being read, he may use a substitution. The teachers need to assess if it’s a logical substitution and makes sense in the text. If the meaning remains unchanged, the teacher should help the child focus on accuracy.

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