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Action Research - Leveled Reading Selections: Staircase to Proficient Readers

Updated on August 26, 2019
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Moira is a teacher for almost 10 years and seeks to improve her craft by sharing her output for others to learn from and/or improve

This action research was submitted to the office of the SGOD of the Division of Camiguin.
This action research was submitted to the office of the SGOD of the Division of Camiguin. | Source


Leveled Reading Selections: Staircase to Proficient Readers

Moira D. Abesmo

The district of Sagay initiated a unified remedial reading program called ANDAL (Agpabasahon Nay Dini Aan Lagtos) Reading Program to improve reading ability. In support to this program and since the Grade 12 students demonstrate difficulty extracting details from nonfiction selections, the researcher adapted the Reading Skills for Today’s Adult Stories from Marshall Adult Education despite its American context. These leveled reading selections offer bite-size reading materials that gradually increase in difficulty. This study was conducted among the twenty-two (22) Grade 12 students of Bugang Integrated School for S.Y. 2018-2019. They took a pretest and posttest of the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) since there is no Phil-IRI exam for Grade 12. Student perception of the remedial reading program were also gathered through a survey and confirmed through a focused group discussion. CASAS posttest results showed a slight increase in reading comprehension. Students perceived the leveled reading selections as an effective remedial reading program. Their main problem with it are the lost reading selections which some students bring home. Lastly, students want reading selections which are love stories, jokes or horror-themed. Based on these findings, the leveled reading selections is an effective start at improving reading comprehension.

Keywords: Remedial reading, reading comprehension, senior high

Research Locale

Bugang, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines:
Bugang, Camiguin, Philippines

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This study was conducted in Bugang Integrated School found in the municipality of Sagay, island of Camiguin, Philippines.



Context and Rationale

Action Research Questions

Innovation, Intervention, and Strategy

Action Research Methods

  • Participants
  • Data Gathering Methods

Discussion of Results and Reflection

  • Discussion of Results
  • Reflection

Action Plan

Financial Report

List of References


I wish to express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the following people who are part in the completion of this action research.

I thank God for the attendance of my students and my good health allowing me to complete this study.

My gratitude to my principal Herma Q. Libago for her approval and support for this study.

To Wenie L. Nahial, one cannot have a more supportive coach.

I am also thankful to my co-teachers who encouraged me when I felt disheartened and to my students who helped me during the course of this study.

Lastly, I am thankful to Marivic M. Amontos, coordinating principal for Sagay District, and Hon. Joseph G. Uayan, municipal mayor of Sagay, for initiating the ANDAL Reading Program. Without this initiative, I would be unqualified to conduct a remedial reading action research.


Context and Rationale

Learning to read well is a continuing developmental progression (Snow, 2002). All public school advisers in Sagay, regardless of subject majors are required to facilitate a remedial reading program to assist in this struggle in support of the ANDAL (Agpabasahon Nay Dini Aan Lagtos) Reading Program. Since the Grade 12 class demonstrates difficulty in extracting details from nonfiction selections such as research abstracts, as Grade 12 adviser of Bugang Integrated School with limited reading materials, the researcher is eager to determine whether the use of leveled reading selections is operational in refining students’ reading comprehension.

Action Research Questions

The main purpose of this action research is to determine whether the use of leveled reading selections is effective in improving the reading level of Grade 12 Truth students in a month’s implementation.

Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the improvement in the reading level of the students?
  2. How effective are leveled reading selections as a remedial reading program as perceived by students?
  3. What are the problems encountered by the students while using the leveled reading selections?


Innovation, Intervention, and Strategy

Before students graduate from the K to 12 curriculum, their reading proficiency must be upgraded to the maximum to make them capable of facing any challenge after basic education. To develop the reading behavior, it should be repeated until it becomes automatic (Skinner, 1976). Aside from this, gradual increase of difficulty will increase the likelihood of success for students (Vygotsky, 1980).

Due to the lack of reading materials in Bugang Integrated School and the lack of prepared reading materials from DepEd for senior high school students, the researcher decided to adapt the Reading Skills for Today’s Adults Stories (Marshall Adult Education) despite its American context. It comprises of over 350 stories categorized into 16 levels according to word count and guide question difficulty. This way, repetition and gradual increase of difficulty is facilitated.

Action Research Methods

A. Participants:

All students enrolled in Grade 12 Truth are included as participants in this action research. They are comprised by nine (9) males and eleven (11) females. However, due to the absences of five (5) students in either pretest or posttest, only fourteen (14) were included.

Ten (10) were honor students last school year, six (6) are habitually absent, and two (2) are classified as SARDO’s. Using a Grade 10 Phil-IRI passage administered at the beginning of the school year, nine (9) were rated as independent readers, seven (7) were instructional readers and four (4) were frustration readers.

B. Data Gathering Methods:

The researcher formulated a research proposal and sought the permission of the principal to allow the conduct of the action research.

The pretest was conducted last July 23, 2018. No Phil-IRI passage is available for the senior high school. Therefore the researcher searched for other standardized reading tests and found the CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems). The said exam is designed for out-of-school youth migrants in America. Though the CASAS sample test items are designed to familiarize its takers for the actual CASAS reading test, the researcher finds it a convenient alternative to roughly gauge student’s reading level improvement. It is composed of seven (7) questions for Level A, nine (9) questions for Level B, nineteen (19) questions for Level C and seventeen (17) questions for Level D. The researcher decided that if a student gets a score of 80% correct answers in a level, they can take the next level test. The last level where they got 80% is their reading level. This grading method is based on the 80% level set forth in the preparation of the Daily Lesson Log (DLL). If a student will not pass Level A, his reading level is 1; if he passes Level A, his reading level is 2; if he passes level B, his reading level is 3; and so on. The mean reading level of the students were determined.

After the pretest, the students were required to read at least one story from the leveled reading selections every first period in the afternoon since Grade 12 Truth does not have any class scheduled during this time. When they read, the researcher is not around because she has a class in Grade 11. Two students were assigned as the Manager of Remedial Reading whose task includes monitoring the passages read and grading their answers according to the answer key.

On August 23, 2018, the post test was done. After the post test, a survey was conducted among the class because students’ perception is equally important to the researcher. The teacher-researcher asked the class two open-ended questions and they wrote their answers anonymously in a piece of paper. Their answers were processed to obtain emerging trends, then a focus group discussion was conducted to confirm the students’ point of view regarding the leveled reading selections as remedial reading program.

Fellow teachers Ma. Cristina S. Paler, Benjie G. Agripo, John Pompey E. Almonia, Edna D. Bala, and Annalee B. Cespon acted as process observers.


Discussion of Results and Reflection

A. Discussion of Results

Standard Deviation
2 (Pretest)
0.796 (Pretest)
2.27 (Post-test)
0.594 (Post-test)
Table 1. Reading Level

As the table shows, there is a slight increase in the mean reading level of the students. Moreover, the reading level is more variable in the pretest as shown by the lower posttest standard deviation. Much of the increase is observed among low-level readers while in higher level of readers, most maintain their reading level. This means that the reading level of class is becoming more uniform. Scaffolding (Vygotsky, 1980) and repetition (Skinner, 1976) helped to achieve this.

Although this increase is small, one month is a short time to improve a skill such as reading level that is supposed to be developed over the course of the basic education. However, this improvement is a good sign that this remedial program could be effective if implemented properly.

Of the fourteen (14) students present during the survey and focused group discussion, thirteen (13) students agreed that the remedial reading program is effective. Most reasoned that it improve their reading ability, enhance their knowledge, impress important life lessons, expand their vocabulary, and provide challenge. Only one (1) said it is not effective because he is always late and sometimes absent.

Since the leveled reading selections offer structured reading activity, this encourages the students to read. The checking of guide questions allows them to know their own reading comprehension.

The main problem complained by students is the lost selections because some students bring the selections home and forget to bring back. Some students do not return the reading selections to their proper places and since the magazine rack housing the leveled reading selections was not yet present, it was difficult to follow up missing selections.

Other problems include unfamiliar words and questions and titles that are difficult to understand. These stem from their limited vocabulary due to limited exposure to English reading materials. Moreover, students have difficulty grasping idiomatic expressions and figures of speech. Providing an English-Tagalog or English-Bisaya dictionary can help them with their vocabulary issues. The teacher-researcher agreed to provide these when circumstances allow her to buy one.

They also acknowledged their own laziness to read and write, tardiness, absences and forgetfulness, as problems that relate to the remedial reading program. Since the teacher-researcher is not around during the remedial reading, she can only text her students to encourage them to read.

B. Reflection

Providing bite-sized reading materials that gradually increase in difficulty is a great start to improve reading comprehension of senior high school students, especially in extracting details and finding context clues. Though the context of these reading materials are not localized, for an integrated school teacher with plenty of preparations to do, having these reading selections which are age-appropriate is already a blessing. The teacher-researcher only needs to follow up and continue encouraging the students to read and test their reading comprehension through these reading selections.

The researcher also thought of developing reading selections based on competencies in the subjects she handles. This can help students who are absent to catch up on topics they have missed.

The researcher is thankful for participating actively in the ANDAL Reading Program. If such a program was not initiated in Sagay District, she would not have thought of doing an action research on reading since she is not a language teacher.

Students reading the leveled reading selections
Students reading the leveled reading selections | Source

Action Plan

The results of this study will be communicated directly to Bugang Integrated School high school teachers to provide them an alternative remedial reading program appropriate to senior high school students. The researcher also plans to participate in various research forums and submit to various research journals to publicize the results of the study. She also plans to share her study among Facebook groups of Teachers such as DepEd Tambayan and Teacher PH as well as on her researcher accounts on etc. for maximum exposure.

Financial Report

A4 Bond paper
3 reams
Php 191.00
Php 573.00
88 sheets
Php 6.00
Php 528.00
2-inch Scotch tape
8 rolls
Php 40.00
Php 320.00
Php 1, 421.00
Table 2. Expenses
Reading level test
Reading level test | Source

List of References

Overseas Development Institute (ODI). (2009). Retrieved February 2018, from Research Tools: Focus Group Discussions:

Biddix, J. (2009). Qualitative Research Designs: Research Rundowns. Retrieved February 2018, from

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved July 2018, from Reading GOALS Test Series - Sample Items :

Marshall Adult Education. (n.d.). Retrieved July 2018, from Reading Skills for Today's Adults Stories:

Skinner, B. (1976). About Behaviourism. Vintage.

Snow, C. (2002). Reading for Understanding: Toward an R&D Program in Reading Comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.

Vygotsky, L. (1980). Mind in Society: The Development of digher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press.

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© 2019 Moira Durano-Abesmo

Your comments, suggestions, and recommendations are highly valued.

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