The effects of information processing styles and congruencies in instruction on children in dual language reading programs

Saul Taub, Fordham University


The study examined the relationship between yeshiva students' information processing styles (sequential, simultaneous, balanced) and the method by which beginning reading instruction was taught in English and Hebrew and reading proficiency in both languages. (Code- and meaning-emphasized instruction in English were to be contrasted with code-based Hebrew techniques. However, only code-based English teaching could be obtained.) Processing style preferences of 62 second and early third grade boys were determined by performance on the Kaufman-Assessment Battery for Children. Processors were compared on measures of reading proficiency in Hebrew and English. One-way ANOVAs yielded significant results only for Hebrew reading rate: performance favored sequential-processors, as hypothesized. Groups did not differ in Hebrew or English reading accuracy (due to substantial intercorrelations among English reading tests only accuracy was assessed). The failure to obtain expected findings, it was speculated, resulted from the deviation from a total code-emphasis of the English teaching methods, the insensitivity of the measuring instruments, and the inclusion of balanced-processors. Hebrew reading instruction's code-emphasis was total; English's was predominant. Hebrew's orthography is entirely regular; English's is not. Thus, sequential-processors must contend with irregular English words for which a serial approach is counterproductive; simultaneous-processors, even within a predominantly serial-emphasized instructional approach, were yet favored with some whole-word instruction from which they can generalize. English reading accuracy was measured apart from rate. If an instrument that gauged both simultaneously were substituted, conceivably significant findings would have resulted. It would be hypothesized that the sequential-processors' speedier performance would reflect the degree of automaticity that the simultaneous-processors had not yet gained due to the processing style-instructional technique mismatch. While balanced-processors seem to complement the design, thereby representing the full spectrum of classroom processing types, in retrospect it was argued that since they lacked a processing style predisposition their performance would be determined by their sequential skills not by their balanced state. Hence, two conflicting dimensions were being embraced simultaneously and consequently distorting the findings. Recommendations for future research suggested how to address the limitations discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Literacy|Reading instruction|Curricula|Teaching|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Taub, Saul, "The effects of information processing styles and congruencies in instruction on children in dual language reading programs" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9109244.