Oral reading miscues and retellings in English and in Sissali: A comparison

John Nandzo, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this research was to identify patterns of oral reading miscues and retellings in English and in one traditional Ghanaian language, of twelve primary school children who all speak Sissali. The study determined the extent to which the children were able to transfer knowledge about the reading process from English reading to reading in Sissali. The subjects had four years of instruction in reading and writing English and had not yet began formal instruction in Sissali, their native tongue. In order to determine the subjects' use of reading strategies and their patterns of oral miscues, two different texts were selected in English and Sissali. Subjects read each of the two passages and immediately retold what they read. All proceedings were audio taped and later transcribed. To obtain information about subjects' background views of reading and reading strategies, the Burke Reading Interview was administered. The Reading Miscues Inventory was used as the major instrument in this study. The miscues of subjects were examined in the following categories: syntactic acceptability, semantic acceptability, meaning change, and graphic similarity. The findings of the study showed that the subjects made similar types of miscues in their oral reading. In comparison the subjects made many more miscues in reading the Sissali text than in reading the English text. There was evidence that subjects made use of the three language cueing systems in their reading. In addition there was evidence that subjects employed reading strategies of sampling, prediction and confirmation. In conclusion there appeared not to be much difference between the reading and retelling proficiency of subjects in both languages. There was, however, evidence that subjects were able to transfer their knowledge from reading English to reading the Sissali language.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

John Nandzo, "Oral reading miscues and retellings in English and in Sissali: A comparison" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3167782.