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 Examples of Miscues
Phil Builder

For details and instructions see the article Reading Assessment

Reading Types, Miscues and Self Corrections




The actual text says:

 A boy rode his horse down the street.






1 The boy rode his pony down his street. S These are three separate miscues (substitutions) which maintain meaning. This type of miscue is least likely to be detected by efficient readers.  They probably won't be detected or corrected because it made sense to the reader.  With more experience accuracy will improve.  Keep reading.  No immediate concerns here.

Your response: None necessary.

2 A boy rode his house down the street. N An obvious Nonsense miscue which destroys sense, and should always be corrected.  In this case not.  Why not?   Did the reader hear it?   If so, does he know that it should be corrected?  Insist that he tries to make his reading sound sensible by correcting himself whenever this happens.

Your response: "Did that sentence make sense to you?" or, "Read that sentence again please."

3 A bog rod his hose don the stret. N Five Nonsense miscues!  This reader is 'barking at print' and producing absolute nonsense. Readers with this type of strategy rarely monitor their reading or self correct.  Print Dependent!  Won't improve with time. Need to urgently change his understanding about what he's doing and teach him strategies to make it make sense.

Your response: "You have to make reading sound like talking!  It must make sense to you!"

4 A boy rided his horse down the street. S A Sensible substitution of language which is familiar to the reader (but immature!).  I wouldn't expect it to be detected or corrected.   As his grammar improves he'll make better predictions.  No concerns here.

Your response: None necessary.

5 A bog....boy rod....rode his
 bi .
.....horse down the street.
SC Three spontaneous self-corrections.  In this case it is a concern because he appears to be trying to predict words which don't fit. It is a worry to see a reader being led by the appearance of the print more than by the meaning.  Seems to be very dependent on the print, but there's hope!  He was going to predict 'bike' which is a sensible prediction!  You will need to teach him to have confidence to do this more often.  Then he will need to scan (look) further ahead to pick up print cues a bit earlier than he is now.  Reading faster and less cautiously can help.

Your response: "Look further ahead as you read, read faster, and don't worry about making mistakes."

6 A boy rode his horse up and down the street. S Here is an example of a two word substitution which doesn't seriously detract from meaning. Although two words are involved, the child's error is a single one (the prediction of 'up'), to which 'and' is added to maintain the flow of the phrase. Think of this as one instance of miscuing which maintains meaning.  No concerns here.

Your response: None necessary.

7 A boy rode his horse ____ the street. N This omission detracts from meaning. In case the child is using a problem solving strategy (reading past the problem to find more clues), insist that every word be attempted, or wait to see if it is corrected later.  This one was not.  Teach the reader that it is OK to guess a word that fits, even if it doesn't begin with the same letter.  I suspect that these miscues are caused by trying to decode the word or using initial letters to work it out.  When he can't think of a word starting like that he is lost, and he's probably lost the meaning too.

Your response: "Did that sentence make sense to you?" or, "Read that sentence again please, and this time guess, or put in a replacement word if you are not sure of it."

8 A boy rode ____ _____ down the street. S These omissions maintain meaning, and again represent one instance of miscuing - overlooking the idea 'his horse'. Record as one (S) miscue.  No concerns here if it only happens occasionally.

Your response: None necessary.

9 A boy _____ his horse
..........   rode his horse down the street.
SC Self-corrections are sometimes delayed- from a few words to a page or more ahead. In this case the word was omitted, and later self-corrected.  Indicates use of a good strategy - reading ahead for more cues.  No concerns.  Should improve with experience.

Your response: "Great! You read on to find more clues!"

10 A b-o-y boy r-o-d rode his h-or-s horse d-ow-n down the str-ee-t street.     This reader is sounding most words correctly and then saying them.  No miscues! Accurate! But he will be in real trouble if this continues!  He is print dependent!  Whereas he should be predicting meaning his energies are going into the decoding of words.  Stop him sounding while reading.  Sound out words at another time, but not when reading.  It is a dangerous habit which can easily be overdone, and is most difficult to change in older children.  Teach him to read for meaning, teach him to predict words, and ban sounding out.  Work on his sight vocabulary may be helpful, but his problem is not that he doesn't recognise words, he just needs to make his reading sound like talking and think about making sense of it!

Your response: "Stop sounding out.  Lets read this together to hear what it should sound like, and then you can have another go."

11 A boy rode rode his horse horse down the street     Repeated words are not miscues. 

Your response: "Look further ahead as you read, read faster, and don't worry about making mistakes."