4. Understanding your Student's Reading Difficulties & Why she Passed the Early Grades

To understand why your adult student made it so far in school despite her poor reading skills, please read the passage titled "The Marlup" and answer the four questions below the reading passage.


1. What did the narg horp in the marlup's kump?
2. What did the marlup juf the narg?
3. Was the narg trungy?
4. How does the marlup pove his kump?

(Created by Dr. Kenneth Goodman. Reference: Burke, Carolyn. "The Language Process: Systems or Systematic?" in Hodges and Rudorf Language and Learning to Read. Houghton Mifflin, 1973, pp. 29-31)
Chances are you were able to read this passage with some fluency. If these questions comprised 60-75% of a test or quiz, you might even have made a low passing grade with your first four answers, but could you have given your opinion on the following 20-point essay question?
"In one hundred words or less, tell me why the narg wheved the marlup's kump? What do you think the marlup will do next?"
Probably not, as it was a comprehension question. As you can see, reading means more than simply decoding words. Readers must also be able to read with understanding and construct meaning from text.

(Answers:

Whev
"Why did vump horp whev in my frinkle kump?"
Er'm muvvily trungy
The marlup poves your kump frinkle)

38 comments:

Queen Of My Castle said...

I really had a hard time with this assignment. It was almost as though it was in a foreign language. I think that actually it looks worse to me because I expect to be able to read it than to someone who didn't expect to be able to read it!

tutorgirl said...

This was a good exercise to demonstrate this topic. I could not understand it or answer the questions!

Biltz said...

Great example. Just by having some understanding of the placement of verbs, nouns, etc. in English, you can almost answer the questions.

BOC said...

I couldn't read this. It looks like a foreign language to me.

lillian said...

Looked Greek to me.

Pat said...

Looks like what I saw when I tried to learn Spanish

jack said...

I cannot read this.

Ms. Ovette said...

I was able to answer the questions by using the words in the text. But since I know no other words in the "language", it would be difficult for me to write an essay.
I found it interesting that my brain was automatically straining to find cognates and thereby assign meaning to what I was reading.

Sally M said...

I couldn't read the passage and I was frustrated at that. Answering the questions was a different story as I could go back and look at the passage. It didn't seem like English.

Marian said...

I was able to figure out all but the last question, but it took some concentration.

Shirley said...

This was very hard to read with any clarity or understanding. Interestingly, it provided an insight to what someone who have a hard time reading or comprehending what they've read, may go through.

Shirley Smith

Merrybird said...

I wouldn't have received a 60%!

Lynn said...

Great example! (I couldn't answer the questions...)

neg said...

This was a good exercise to demonstrate this topic. I tried but mostly failed to make sense of the paragraph.

Danielle said...

Great Example! Readers really do 'make meaning' when they read. Some research articles I read, read just like this example!!

Meghan said...

While, using what you know of English composition and grammatical constructions, you can make a stab at answering the questions, there is no way you'd be able to do an essay question or anything that requires a substantive understanding of what's going on in the example.

SNelson said...

I had to read it several times to try and make sense of it, Not Sure I Did!

Martha said...

Whew! That was an exercise in frustration. I definitely would not be able to write a good essay on the topic because my comprehension was close to zero. I can see why most people who struggle with reading comprehension drop out of school.

Megan N said...

I could not answer the questions! It was like a foreign language.

Kenneth Zen Bodhi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lizbeth rakaczky said...

I still can't comprehend how a student can earn a high school diploma without even basic reading skills.

vicki walbroehl said...

Very difficult to decode and understand...understand why some adult learners feel lost as to what they are reading. Comprehension, fluency, decoding, it takes all of it..

Genevieve McCall said...

I wouldn't have received a 60% on that quiz! Excellent example to demonstrate the point.

E.A. Poe said...

this was made to place yourself in the position of people who are learning to read. i kind of understood it i know that that narg was really hungry, if I'm not mistaken.

Michelle Walker said...

Very good exercise. The reading passage floored me!

Roger Innes said...

Wow. Great demonstration. It was all guess on my part with the questions.

Wallace West said...

Crazy but effective way to prove a point. I enjoyed trying to figure what it was talking about.

Regina Cook said...

All I am hearing in my head is from Dr. Seuss: The hump of a Gump...and pink ink!

Pamela Lee said...

Good example. It frustrated me, and I had no interest in trying to answer the questions. Writing an essay is totally out of the question.

MSTATEN said...

I realized I was mainly trying to decode the words and didn't care about comprehending until it was time to answer the questions.

Mme Brown said...

Great exercise!

Tonto Pike said...

Interesting juffs?A fun way to learn. Capital letters and punctuation make a difference.

Salman Qureshi said...

I am working in the Information Technology where I used to encrypt text into unreadable text (add 3 letter position to change the original letter. i.e., A+3=D, D+3= G...so the word "man" become "pdq").
On a different note: This exercise showing difficulties in children to read words called dyslexia.

Carol R said...

Fantastic example and yes, the example definitely showed the difficulties for children with dyslexia

james powers said...

Counldn't do it.

Natalie Esch said...

1. Some whev
2. Why did vump horp whev in my kump?
3. Er'm muvvily trungy
4. vump frinkle

Very challenging!

Sherry Unruh said...

A student needs to understand what they are reading not just read.

CB said...

I simply could not read it at all. I tried several times but I could not pronounce the words.