3V1421.01 Reading Test (in P203/K27) (12/13/81)

In P203/K27 (which began with Peggy’s first captured dance), I gave Peggy a reading test based on two groups of words — the first from her reading of books; the second from her computer experiences. From the first group of words she recognized only “NO.” (Gretchen has been reading her “The Quiet-Noisy Book” — which makes much of the word “NO.”) and “Peggy” (which she first read as “GREEN”; she declared it Peggy only after I pushed her to justify her decision and she said “P,E,G,G,Y… Peggy.” The other words, some of which I expected her to recognize were [STOP, BANG, RING, SCURRY, CRACK, LAWLER, DING, BY].
Of the 27 computer experience words, Peggy recognized 13 and failed to recognize 14.


Not Recognized: READING (OK on the computer), DOWN, QUILT, BLACK, HALT, BOY (She noted yesterday this word was a man, which was her interpretation.) INSTRUCTIONS, CITY, FACE, EYE [“face”], PIG (she could not read the word, but when I asked is she could spell PIG, she looked at the Apple and responded “P, I, G”…she can write it but not read it yet). RT, RODS, PICK

What do I make of this ? Some words are stable and over learned. Examples are : ZOOM, SUN, CAR, RECALL. Other words are recognizable but not stable, e.g. SHOOT, BLACK, EYE. One can expect that this transient reading vocabulary will either be stabilized by frequent use or will be forgotten – reduced to confusion with other more dominant words.

At this point, Peggy;s word recognition is not principled. She is not entirely (or even much) sensitive to letter order as a word discriminator, i.e. she should be expected to regularly confuse words such as TRAP and TARP and even couples such as DOG and GOD. On the other hand, she is strongly committed to a left right, letter at a time “reading” and justification.

It is not the case that Peggy is a “reader.” she is however, a “word at a time recognizer” and is in the process of building up the specific atoms of alphabetic language knowledge from which she will be later able to make phonological generalizations and orthographics discriminations.

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