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Professional Books: Reading Miscue Inventory – From Evaluation to Instruction 2/E

Item #554

VIEW VIDEO: Dr. Yetta Goodman
Delivers Oscar S. Causey Address:
“Miscue Analysis: A Transformative Tool for Researchers, Teachers, and Readers”. Literacy Research Association (LRA) 64th Annual Conference, December 4, 2014, Marco Island, Florida, USA

Reading Miscue Inventory – From Evaluation to Instruction 2/E

by Yetta M. Goodman, University of Arizona,
Dorothy J. Watson, University of Missouri, and
Carolyn L. Burke, Indiana University

2005 pb 328 pages
Item #544
ISBN 1-57274-737-4

This authentic assessment provides substantive data on how readers engage with the reading process to make meaning; it also illuminates the disconnects in that process when reading is challenging. Unlike most reading assessments that only provide a label or a “level,” the Reading Miscue Inventory provides teachers with the insights to know how to help readers better succeed.

A must-have for classroom teachers and adult educators who wish to know more about their students as readers as well as for graduate students studying reading behaviors. This revised edition of the Reading Miscue Inventory: Alternative Procedures includes a user-friendly reorganization of the procedures and offers an extensively updated and expanded research base and reference section. Updates also include help in interpreting and using the classic Burke Reading Inventory, thorough analyses of readers with different strengths and challenges, and new instructional ideas.

About the Authors

Yetta M. Goodman is Regents Professor of Education at the University of Arizona – Tucson, College of Education, Department of Language, Reading, and Culture. She has been researching miscue analysis, early literacy process, and kid watching for many years. In addition to her leadership roles in many professional organizations, she has authored and co-authored many books and articles, including Reading Miscue Inventory: Alternative Procedures, Retrospective Miscue Analysis: Revaluing Readers and Reading, and the first edition of Reading Strategies: Focus on Comprehension.

Dorothy J. Watson is Professor of Education at the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education and is Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. A leader of many professional organizations, Dorothy has been involved in research, curriculum development, writing, and presentations in the fields of reading and language development. She is co-author of Reading Miscue Inventory: Alternative Procedures and numerous other books and articles.

Carolyn L. Burke is Professor of Language Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy and children’s literature. She was involved in the earliest miscue research with Ken Goodman and continues to be known for her work in inquiry curriculum, reader interviews, and miscue studies. She is a co-author of Reading Miscue Inventory: Alternative Procedures and the first edition of Reading Strategies: Focus on Comprehension.


Most of us have had those moments of illumination, which perception psychologists call the “ah-ha experience.” Sometimes the illumination is slow, like the gradual understanding of the punch line of a joke you don’t initially “get.” Other times it can be a sudden, “eureka-like” illumination that occurs in a flash, when, like Archimedes in the bath, the solution to a complex problem we’ve been struggling to resolve suddenly emerges.

While “ah-ha” experiences are merely one of the many forms of learning we can engage in, they’re often more memorable and long-lasting than other mundane learning experiences we have in the course of our daily lives. Some of these experiences change our lives to such a degree that we can never go back to thinking, knowing, understanding, or behaving in the ways we did prior to this particular “ah-ha.”

I had one of these life-changing “ah-ha’s” in 1975 and remember it clearly. I was engaged in postdoctoral work at Harvard, where some of the luminaries of the reading world, including Jeanne Chall, Courtney Cazden, Carole Chomsky, Helen Popp, and others, mentored, guided, and continually chal­lenged me. I also had auditing privileges with MIT, which was two stations away on the MTA. I spent many hours auditing courses in MIT’s linguistics department and attending seminars conducted by its psycholinguistic and artificial intelligence research groups. I considered myself to be at the centre of the learning, language, and reading universe. I thought I was in academic heaven.

During one of the many coffee breaks I took at Harvard, the late Jeanne Chall said to me, “Brian, there’s this fellow Ken Goodman who’s writing a lot about something called miscue analysis. He claims it shows that meaning-based approaches support learning to read better than code-based approaches. Seeing you have more time than the rest of us, why don’t you research his claims? Perhaps you could do a paper for the Harvard Ed. Review, which we could publish?”

xShe gave me a rather large red box, which had the words “Reading Miscue Inventory” written on its shiny new exterior. I also noted the authors’ names and recall commenting to Jeanne thus: “I thought you said it was ‘Ken Goodman’ who was responsible for miscue analysis. Only one of these authors is a Goodman, someone named ‘Yetta.’ 

Jeanne informed me that the authors had worked with Ken on his miscue research and that Yetta was Ken’s wife. She then explained how they’d taken the original miscue taxonomy Ken had used in his research and made it more teacher friendly. She finally commented, “A version which has been modified for classroom use might be a good way to ‘get into his work.” I took this red box back to my office and opened it. It contained several red book­lets, some scoring templates, and some audiotapes. I quickly skimmed the titles of books. The one called Manual for Using RMI caught my eye. I opened it and began reading.

Much later, after studying Ken’s original research, deconstructing the origi­nal full version of the miscue Taxonomy, and after publishing an essay on his work in the Reading Research Quarterly (Cambourne 1975-1976) I recognized the brilliance of their work. They’d taken a very complex, multitheoretical taxonomy and turned it into a classroom teacher-friendly tool with­out “dumbing it down.” They’d created a multifaceted educational tool that not only helped teachers understand the reading process, but which helped them identify all students’ reading strengths and weaknesses and then offered them viable classroom-based strategies that were based on these strengths and weaknesses. In one sense it was a full reading curriculum in a box. It had a solid theoretical base; it could be used as a diagnostic tool; it could be used to quantitatively evaluate, compare, and rank readers in terms of strengths and weaknesses; it could be used to design and justify theoretically valid teaching strategies for each individual member of a class.

From that point my life changed forever. I began a wild, exhilarating, unpredictable, sometimes frightening, intellectual ride, not unlike those I had experienced as a youthful member of the surfboard fraternity in an earlier life. Intellectually it was like pushing oneself over the edge of a huge, slowly breaking wave, feeling it pick you up, thrust you forward with its power, never knowing whether you should stand and cut left, right, or even pull back from the wave before it broke, fearful that if you continued to “go with it” it might suddenly break and “dump” you painfully in the shallows. As I reflect on that period of my professional growth with the benefit of thirty years’ hindsight, it is now obvious that in 1975 I’d been caught up in a Kuhn-ian scientific revolution. According to Strauss (2005), “Scientific revolutions occur when a crisis within the scientific paradigm is resolved by the adoption, within the scientific community, of new, empirically supported principles that redefine what counts as a theoretically significant problem, and the way that problem is solved” (Strauss 2005, 166). Of course, in 1975 I wasn’t aware that I was caught up in a Kuhn-ian scientific revolution. I thought I was simply experiencing multiple “ah-ha’s” about reading, language, learning, and teaching. One in particular stands out. I clearly remember reading a statement, somewhere in the RMI materials that Jeanne Chall had loaned me, a statement something like this: “The oral and written forms of language are parallel versions of the same thing—language.”

The implications of this statement struck me with tsunami-like force. Michael Halliday’s (1975) Learning How to Mean had just been published. When I put Halliday’s work and this one particular concept from the RMI together in my head, thoughts started bubbling up and spilling over each other at a frenetic pace; I can still remember the trains of thought that rattled through my head: “If learning to talk is learning how to mean using the oral mode of language, then perhaps learning how to read and write is learning how to mean using the written form of language. If they’re parallel versions of the same thing, then perhaps they can be learned similarly? Perhaps learning how to mean is natural? Perhaps complex meaning making is what the human brain has evolved to do? Perhaps the processes inherent in the complex learning that makes learning to talk possible have some implications for learning to read?”

Those of you who know my work will realize that this one ah-ha pushed me in the direction that I’ve been traveling for the last thirty years. This long-awaited revised edition of the RMI—a now classic work—will certainly provide fresh insights for both the current and a new generation of educators and scholars. Those familiar with the RMI will revisit Betsy in a new case study, explore on a deeper level the value and use of the Burke Reading Interview, find extensively updated references and new research, and discover several new chapters on differentiated reading instruction. And those new to the RMI will understand readers and reading on an entirely different plane.

I urge you—teachers of children, teachers of adult readers and writers, professors, and graduate students—to use the RMI with real learners reading real texts. I can guarantee that if you do, you too will experience some eureka-like “ah-ha’s” that will push you in new professional directions. Brian Cambourne

Cambourne, Brian. 1976-1977. “Getting to Goodman: An Analysis of the Goodman Model of Reading with Some Suggestions for Evaluation.” Reading Research Quarterly. Volume 12, number 4, pp. 605-636.

Halliday, Michael A.K. 1975. Learning How to Mean: Explorations in the Development of Language (Explorations in Language Study Series). London: Edward Arnold.

Strauss, Steven L. 2005. The Linguistics, Neurology, and Politics of Phonics: Silent “E” Speaks Out. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


In the original Reading Miscue Inventory (RMI), we stated that educators will more readily make changes in their reading curricula if they have a “window on the reading process” that helps them observe and understand their students’ reading. This insight remains the major benefit of learning miscue analysis. Knowing miscue analysis helps reading specialists, classroom teachers, special educators, and reading researchers develop an understanding of the reading process that guides everyday decision making in the teaching of reading.

As reading professionals are informed by studying students’ miscues (a place where the reader’s response does not match the expected response), new questions about the reading process arise and must be addressed. For example, when studying the complexity of third grader Frank’s occasional substitution of for for from, it becomes obvious that he miscues in some grammatical settings, but not others, and that he makes the substitution only when there are certain language relations expressed. Through such analysis, researchers learn about language and how readers use it and how text structures affect the reading process. Teachers begin to understand that simplistic remediation will not help Frank and may even cause further prob­lems. Frank’s knowledge and use of the syntactic and semantic complexities of his language become evident through the analysis of his miscues. Rather than attempting to eliminate Frank’s “errors,” professionals who use miscue analysis understand that miscues may represent strengths that are used to address his needs.

In addition to increasing our understanding of the reading process in gen­eral, miscue analysis supplies specific information about a single miscue. John, a fourth-grade student, omits the word oxygen each time it appears in a story. During the retelling, as he tries to tell why “the men were getting so sleepy,” John shows that he understands the text throughout his reading when he explodes with, “Oxygen … that’s the word I didn’t get… oxygen.” The miscue analysis of John’s reading shows how he transacts with the text and how his transaction builds his comprehension.

Reading specialists and classroom teachers who analyze such processing are aware that students like John are actively involved in their reading, and beginning with that knowledge they find ways to support the reader’s strengths. When Alta reads then for when throughout a story, but reads whistle and white without problems, her special education teacher has more to offer than the simple idea that Alta has “a th/wh confusion.” For example, he helps Alta think about how she uses then and when in her writing, thus clar­ifying when each word is appropriately used.

Although miscue analysis is complex and time consuming, its use allows teachers and readers to take charge. Miscue analysis is based on theoretical notions informed by linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic know­ledge and by a view of science that empowers educators to ask their own questions, solve their own problems, and consequently come to their own conclusions. Miscue analysis is an open-ended heuristic instrument, that is, a tool that helps teachers and researchers gather information about the reading process, discover supportive information available in the field of lit­eracy learning today, and contribute to that body of knowledge.

Little did we realize when we introduced the ideas behind the RM1 to 25 teachers in a school district near San Diego in 1970 that three decades later we would be part of a movement of professional educators and researchers who are committed to understanding why readers do what they do and that what they do reflects their knowledge about language and the world. This is not to imply that miscue analysis alone has been responsible for this historic movement or for teachers taking ownership of their professional responsi­bilities in the classroom. However, we believe that this tool has played a part in paving the way for teachers and researchers to raise questions about the relationship between learning to read and teaching reading.

Those of you who know us are aware of our enthusiasm for the use of miscue analysis and our conviction that it is the most powerful reading diagnostic tool available. We have been told by teachers and researchers that reading research and the teaching of reading are never the same once one is informed by miscue analysis. We agree.

In the years since the first publication of the Reading Miscue Inventory, many colleagues have advised us in our work. To all those who raised questions, criticized, and wondered with us, we want to express our sincere thanks. Let’s continue the inquiry for the sake of learning and learners.

Table of Contents

Foreword     x/iii
Preface       xvii


1   Observing the Reading Process  3

Purposes of Miscue Analysis  4

The Quest for Understanding Reading:
              A Historical Look at Miscue Analysis  5

The Goodman Taxonomy of Reading Miscues  5

Miscue Analysis Procedures  6

The Classroom Procedure  6

The Informal Procedure  6

The In-Depth Procedure  7

Building a Personal Model of Reading  7

Audiences for Miscue Analysis  8

Teachers, Special Educators, and Reading Specialists  8

Researchers, Including Teacher Researchers  9

Material Developers  11

Discovering How People Read  11

Observing the Reader: Meet Betsy, Our Reader and Teacher  12

Betsy’s Reading  14

Betsy’s Unaided Retelling  14

Betsy’s Aided Retelling  21

2    A Holistic View of Reading: Theoretical

Understandings  23

Theoretical Assumptions   23

Reading: An Active, Meaning-Making Process   23

Reading: A Language Process  24

Readers Have Knowledge about Language and Their World  26

Authors Have Knowledge about Language and Their World  28

Holistic Theory of Reading  29

Language Cuing Systems  30

Reading Strategies  36

Summary 41



3     General Procedures for Data Collection: Readers,

Materials, and Retellings  45

Selecting Readers   45

Selecting Materials  46

Compiling a Set of Reading Materials  48

Text Analysis and Miscue Patterns  48

Supportive Text  49

Preparing the Typescript  50

Preparing the Retelling Guide  51

Data Collection Session  52

Before and During the Reading  53

Stopping the Reader  54

Readers’ Retellings and Presentations  55

Oral Retelling Procedures  55

Other Responses and Presentations  60

4                   General Procedures: Marking the Typescript  63

Typescript Markings: Miscues and Other Phenomena  63

Substitutions  64

Omissions  66

Insertions  66

Repetitions  67

Additional Markings  70

Complex Miscues  72

Repeated Miscues  75

Multiple Miscues  75

5    General Procedures: Analyzing Miscues  77

Questions to Evaluate Reading  77

Syntactic Acceptability and Semantic Acceptability  78

Issues Relating to Syntactic and Semantic Acceptability  81

Meaning Change  83

Dialect  84

Correction  86

Graphic Similarity and Sound Similarity  89

Additional Research Questions to Evaluate Reading  95

6  The Classroom Procedure and the Informal Procedure  96

The Classroom Procedure  96

Preparing the Typescript for Marking and Coding  97

Coding the Classroom Procedure Typescript  97

Classroom Procedure Questions  97

Betsy’s Miscue Patterns  105

Gordon’s Miscue Patterns  110

Graphic Similarity and Sound Similarity  113

Classroom Procedure Statistical Summary  115

 Checklist for the Classroom Procedure:
 Using the Typescript ……………..    116

The Classroom Procedure Coding and Reader Profile
Forms  116

The Classroom Procedure Coding Form  117

The Classroom Procedure Reader Profile Form

Retelling  125

Checklist for the Classroom Procedure: Using the
Coding Form  127

The Informal Procedure  128

Informal Procedure Conference Form  128

Checklist for the Informal Procedure  130

7    The In-Depth Procedure  131

Numbering Miscues  131

Selecting Miscues for Numbering and Coding  132

Repeated Miscues  133

Multiple Miscues  133

Complex Miscues  134

Analyzing Miscues  134

In-Depth Procedure Questions  134

Syntactic and Semantic Acceptability (Questions I and 2)  134

How to Read for Syntactic Acceptability  136

How to Read for Semantic Acceptability  137

Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded YY  138

Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded YP and YN  138

Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded YN  139

Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded PP  140

Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded PN  141
Examples of Responses to Questions  1 and 2  Coded NN  142

Meaning Change (Question 3)  143

How to Read for Meaning Change 143

Correction (Question 4)  146

Graphic and Sound Similarity (Questions 5 and 6)  148

The In-Depth Procedure Coding Form  148

Meaning Construction and Grammatical Relations  148

Patterns 148

Patterns for Constructing Meaning 152

Patterns for Grammatical Relations 154           

Statistical Analysis  155

Retelling Guide and Scoring  158

The In-Depth Reader Profile  158

Checklist for the In-Depth Procedure  160


8    Reading Miscue Analysis Information   163
 Reader Profile Form  163

The Role of the Text 163
Proficient Readers  164
Moderately Proficient Readers  167
Nonproficient Readers  168

      Coding Form  171
  Typescript  172

Repeated Identical Miscues (RM) on a Single Item Across Text  172

Multiple Miscues on a Single Text Item  173

Partials  173

Repetitions  173

Peripheral Field  174

Corrections  174

Pauses  174

Additional Miscues  174

Types of Miscues  175

Miscue Clusters  175

Location of Miscues  175

Comments Written in the Margin of the Typescript  175

Retelling  175

Transition to the Burke Reading Interview  176

9    Perceptions of the Reading Process: Models of Reading

and the Burke Reading Interview  177

Models of Reading  177

Subskills Model  178

Skills Model  178

Holistic Model  179

Understanding the Burke Reading Interview (BRI)  179

BRI Interviews of Three Readers 182

10     Betsy as a Reader: Case Study  186

Betsy’s Reader Profile from the In-Depth Procedure  186

Patterns from Betsy’s Classroom Procedure Reader Profile  188

Scoring Betsy’s Reading with the Informal Procedure  189

Betsy’s Use of Language Systems  189

Betsy’s Use of Reading Strategies   192

Initiating and Sampling  192

Predicting and Confirming  192

Correction  193

Betsy’s Integrating  194

Betsy’s Retelling  194

Summary of Betsy’s Strengths and Needs  195

11         Reading Curriculum and Strategy Lessons  98

The Ongoing Reading Curriculum  199

Listening to a Variety of Texts  199

Listening to Stories and More  199

Silent Reading  200

Selecting Material  200

Reading Aloud  201

Content Area Reading and Conceptually Related Materials  201

Literature Study Groups  202

Writing for Personal and Social Reasons  203

Reading Strategy Lessons  203

Strategy Lesson: Conscious Awareness of Reading:

Retrospective Miscue Analysis  204

Strategy Lesson: What Smart Readers Do  205

Strategy Lesson: How to Reach Your Goal   206

Strategy Lesson: Functions of Reading and Writing  206

Strategy Lesson: Brainstorming (Preview, Overview, Review)  207

Strategy Lesson: Schema Story  207

Strategy Lesson: Selected Deletions or the Cloze Procedure  208

Strategy Lesson: Meaningful Substitutions  209

Strategy Lesson: Name and Keep Going  210

Strategy Lesson: You Become the Author  210

Strategy Lesson: After Retelling  211

Reading Strategy Lessons for Proficient Readers  213

Strategy Lesson: Understanding Story Conventions  213

Strategy Lesson: Exploring Literature  214

Strategy Lesson: Critical Conversations  214

Strategy Lesson: Notice Something New  215

Reading Strategy Lessons for Nonproficient Readers  215

Strategy Lesson: Reading Along with Me  216

Strategy Lesson: Big Books  216

Strategy Lesson: Estimate, Read, Respond, Question  217

Strategy Lesson: Language Experience  217

An Invitation  218

Appendix A: Summary of Procedures  221

Appendix B: Gordon’s Miscue Analysis: The Beat of My Heart  228

Appendix C: Blank Forms  247

Appendix D: Previous Miscue Analysis Formats  277

Bibliography and References  287

Books for Children and Young Adults  293


Index  295