Reading: Performing Miscue Analysis

This semester, students in READ 3325.20B were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Patricia Cantú and Alberto Arriaga

What Is a Miscue Analysis?

It is a procedure that is used by teachers to assess student’s reading comprehension. It is based on giving students oral reading samples. It is believed that the mistakes that students make as they read have to do with their experiences  and language skills, so technically they are not just random errors.


Why Use Miscue Analysis?

The miscue analysis helps the teacher to identify which cueing systems are used by the student when they read. Students use different strategies to make sense of the text they read. The miscue analysis does not focus on e errors, but what the student does right so they can build their reading strategies.

Performing a Miscue Analysis

The teacher selects a text that the student hasn’t read previously. Also, the teacher needs to have a copy of the text that the student is reading to follow along, however the teacher’s copy will be formatted differently to record the miscues, the sentences should be numbered and have a double or triple spacing between them, also it is helpful that the margins are larger so they can be used to take notes. A miscue analysis session can be recorded in two different ways. The teacher can mark the miscues onto the typescript and it can also be recorded into audio and is used to document the student’s reading. An audio recorder can be vey important because the teacher can go back and make sure that the miscues that the student made were recorded.

Types of Miscues

There are different miscues that a student can make when reading a text and here are a few common ones that teachers always find:

  • Substitution : readers substitute one word for another words ( When a substitution is made, the miscue is written directly over the text that has produced an unexpected response.)
  • Omission : reader leaves out a word on the text (Omissions are recorded by circling neglected words.)
  • Partials : The reader begins to pronounce a word, but does not finish it and does not make another attempt to read the word. (The part of the word that has been omitted is then circled. You may decide instead to mark this behavior as a substitution, writing the part of the word supplied over the printed text.)
  • Insertions : Reader adds one or more words to the text. (An insertion is denoted with a caret.)

Cueing Systems

Goodman was the one who came up with the term ‘miscue analysis’ and he based this approach on the three basic cueing systems that he believed portrayed the reading process :

  • Graphophonic – the relationship of letters to sound system
  •  Syntactic – the syntax/grammar system
  • Semantic – the meaning system




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