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Student ‘belief effects’ in remedial reading: Stories from six severely reading disabled adolescents

Judy Kirk

A research project showed that progress in a remedial reading programme for severely reading disabled adolescents was determined by the effects of their beliefs about ability and strategy effectiveness on their use of strategies to apply new letter-sound knowledge. Inflated beliefs about ability, and willingness to read extremely difficult text, combined with consistent, persistent and flexible strategy use for applying new letter-sound knowledge, resulted in accelerated progress. Maladaptive beliefs such as ‘reading’s dumb’, ‘I don’t see no reason for sounding’ and ‘Why don’t I believe in myself’ led to inappropriate strategy use and limited progress.

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