Indicators of self-monitoring in early reading




Gonzales, Karen Elizabeth

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The purpose of this study was to closely observe, describe, and analyze children's self-monitoring behaviors across literacy contexts. More specifically, the study sought to carefully observe early readers to determine what verbal and nonverbal activity indicated they were self-monitoring or checking on themselves as they read. Therefore, three questions guided the study: (1) What is the nature of self-monitoring in early reading? (2) How has self-monitoring been observed? (3) What are indicators of self-monitoring in early reading?

The study involved a descriptive micro-analysis of self-monitoring activity in a naturalistic setting using an observation protocol to analyze video-taped one-on-one Reading Recovery® lessons for two early readers. The observation protocol was developed based on an extensive literature review of methods and findings related to the study of monitoring and early reading development.

Findings revealed the nature of self-monitoring activity in the two early readers across two different literacy tasks. As such, the early readers demonstrated through their reading activity that self-monitoring involves highly active and complex processes that include both verbal and nonverbal indicators of self-monitoring activity. More specifically, the verbal indicators observed involved: adjustments in the pace, audible inhales and exhales, questions indicating metacognition, rereading, self-corrections, self-corrections of partial errors, solving, subvocalization, and utterances indicating metacognition. The nonverbal indicators of self-monitoring activity involved: body movement, facial movement, glances at the camera, glances at the teacher, some of the glances at the illustration, some of their hand movements, and head movement. However, there appeared to be a strikingly greater amount of nonverbal activity that took place than verbal activity. Therefore, self-monitoring activity seems to be largely nonverbal in early readers.

In addition, the early readers appeared to demonstrate a clear connection between self-monitoring activity and movement. Hence, they exhibited a variety of movements each time they were actively checking on themselves, thinking, solving, and self-correcting. Strikingly, the early readers observed never once hesitated or ceased from attempting to solve their difficulties, clearly demonstrating the active nature of self-monitoring activity in early readers.



Education, Early reading, Monitoring, Observable behaviors, Self-monitoring