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The Developmental Reading program helps students perform better in college courses by developing a reading and speaking vocabulary, promoting students’ comprehension of the written word and enhancing students’ reading rate to create reading fluency. At the beginning of each semester, instructors administer a pre-test and extensively diagnose each student’s reading skills. Thorough analysis of the pre-test information is gathered about each student’s strengths to detect skill areas which need improvement. Students are administered a post-test at the end of each semester to assess their growth.

Student Goals

  • Develop reading vocabulary, including addressing word attack methods when needed, as well as knowledge of meanings of familiar and unfamiliar words
  • Develop comprehension, including the meanings of words and the broader meanings of passages
  • Improve reading rate, with the understanding some materials require a slower pace while others, such as reading for enjoyment, can be read at a faster pace
  • Improve study skills
  • Foster increased interest in reading fiction/nonfiction for enjoyment

Vocabulary Development

Instructors have developed materials to provide students with vocabulary lessons and practice. MSU Strategic Reading instructors have authored multiple sets of context sentences and vocabulary tests (on 11 different vocabulary grade levels) to aid in students’ understanding of vocabulary. The faculty-developed vocabulary tests are used in assessing student progress.

Comprehension Skills

 Instructors utilize a textbook authored by Brenda Smith and Lee Ann Morris titled "Bridging the Gap to Develop Students' Comprehension Strategies." This textbook provides high-interest reading materials and timely articles and stories that promote discussion to enhance students’ cognitive skills and reading comprehension. The students also use “My Reading Lab” which is a supplemental program included with the purchase of the textbook. Continuation of skill work is the majority of emphasis in this program.

Reading Rate/Fluency

The program utilizes Jamestown Timed Readings workbooks (10 reading levels are available, and each student is assigned a book level based on that student’s pretest vocabulary score). Instructors have determined, through observation and examination of students’ work, that this part of the program enhances students’ ability to concentrate as they read as it increases their reading rate. Student evaluations of the program reflect that the timed readings and pacing exercises help them to focus as they read. Increasing their reading rate eliminates the need to re-read material and enables students to become more effective readers. 

Which reading course should I take?

Incoming students who have an ACT subtest score in reading of less than 20 are required to take a placement test.

MSU offers two developmental reading courses, both of which focus on diagnostic reading comprehension and improving reading rates. Those who have an ACT reading score of 17 or less must enroll in Strategic Reading I (EDEL 096). Students who scored 18 or 19 on the reading ACT test must enroll in Strategic Reading II (EDEL 097).

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