text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation
  1. Home
  2. Teacher Education
  3. Literacy
  4. Reading Assessment-Diagnosis-Remediation
  5. Diagnostic Teaching of Reading: Techniques for Instruction and Assessment


Diagnostic Teaching of Reading, 7/e, by renowned author Barbara J. Walker, is the ideal resource for pre-service and in-service educators, including teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, school psychologists, special education teachers, and Title I teachers. In it they see how to use a variety of instructional and assessment techniques to help plan lessons designed to improve literacy for all learners in their charge.


Included are over 65 instructional techniques that meet the diverse learning needs of all students, including struggling readers and writers, English language learners, and culturally diverse learners. With the information presented here, teachers see how to continually reflect on their instructional practices and tailor their instruction to the strengths and needs of the diverse children they teach.

Table of contents


PART ONE The Process of Diagnostic Teaching of Reading    1

Ways to Use These Chapters  3

1          What Is Diagnostic Teaching?  5

Active Reading and Writing  7

Differences in Learning 11

Struggling and Writers Readers 11

English Language Learners 13

Culturally Diverse Learners 14

Instructional Process  15

            Text-based View

            Reader-based View

            Interactive constructivist View

            Sociocultural View

            Balanced Instruction

Assessment Process  20

Diagnostic Teaching Process 

            Diagnostic Teaching Lesson 23

Summary  14

2          Literacy Development   34

Emergent Literacy Stage  36

Early Developing Literacy Stage 38

Developing Stage  40

Strategic Literacy Stage 43

Complex Literacy Stage 46


3          Effective Teachers  48

Engage All Learner 48

Foster meaningful interpretations and thoughtful understanding 50

Cultivate Vibrant Discussions 51

Access To High Quantity And High Quality Of Reading Material 53

Make use of Scaffolding  54

Nuture Motivation  58 

Promote Self regulated Learning 60

Create a Responsive Environment 61

Assess while Teaching  62

Integrate and Balance Instruction 65


4          The Diagnostic Teaching Session: An Overview  68

Familiar Text Time  69

Supported Reading and Writing  70

Continuous Assessment  74

Strategy and Skill Instruction  78

Analysis of Patterns of Reading Development  78

Instruction in Strategies and Skills  79

Strategy Conversations and Self-Assessment  80

Process Writing Time  82

Personalized Reading and Writing  83


5          Gathering Diagnostic Data  94

Informal Reading Inventory 94

Establishing the Level of Student Performance  

Analyzing the Results from the Informal Reading Inventory 

Informal Writing Assessment

Further Assessments 

Stages of Reading Development  81

Emergent Literacy Stage

Early Developing Literacy Stage

Developing Literacy Stage

Strategic Literacy Stage

Complex Literacy Stage


6          The Literacy Event  114

Reader  117

Reader analysis for Jenny

Text  129

 Text analysis for Jenny

 Task  135

            Task analysis for Jenny

Situational Context  144

            Situational Context analysis for Jenny

Technique  154


Formulating Hypotheses for Jenny 

Reviewing the Steps 

711      Selecting Techniques  172

Classifying Techniques for Supporting Reading and Writing 

Classifying Techniques by Instructional Framework 

Classifying Techniques by Type of Text 

Classifying Techniques by Mode of Response

Classifying Techniques for Strategy and Skill Instruction

Classifying Techniques by Reasoning Strategies 

Classifying Techniques by Reading Skills 

Classifying Techniques for Increased Specificity 

Classifying Techniques by Sources of Information

Classifying Techniques by Type of Structure 


Putting the Parts Together for Jenny 

Reviewing Technique Selection 

8          Selecting Materials  223

Basic Types of Materials 

Basal Readers and Core Reading Programs

Chapter Books


Focused Lessons Books 

High-Interest, Low-Readability Books 

Internet Materials 

Leveled Books


Picture Trade Books 

Poetry Anthologies

Predictable Books 

Series Books 

Software Programs 


Selecting Material for a Particular Reader 

Matching the Text to the Reader 

Evaluating the Text 

More to Consider When Selecting Material 



Background Knowledge of the Reader 

Length of the Book 


9   Initiatives and Teacher Development  246

Response to Intervention

Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol for English Language Learners

Shared Expertise in Reading 


Developing Collaboration 

The Learning Community 

Forms of Studying Reading Instruction

Study Groups

Teacher Research Groups

Criteria for a Teacher Development Context  167


10        Using Multiple Assessments  261

Authentic Assessments

Criterion-Referenced Tests

Formal Assessments

Informal Assessments

Motivation Assessment

Performance Assessment 

Process-Oriented Assessments  


Student Self-Assessment

The Assessments  266

Anecdotal records 

Assessment Letters 

Assessment Talks

Attitude Toward Reading

Cloze Test

Concepts about Print Interview

Diagnostic Teaching Assessment 

Developmental Reading Assessment 2

Informal Reading Inventory 

Interest Inventories

Letter Name Knowledge

The Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory

Miscue Analysis

Motivation to Read Profile 

Multi-Dimensional Fluency Scale

Norm-Referenced Tests


Phonemic Segmentation

Phonological Awareness                                                                                                                           


Retelling Rubric

Running Records  

Self-Perceptions as a Reader and Writer

Spelling Assessment

Strategy Self-Assessments

Student-Led Conferences 

Summarization Rubric

Think-Aloud Analysis 

Word Identification Assessment

Writing Rubric

Evaluating Student Performance Using Multiple Assessments  145



PART TWO The Instructional Techniques       317

The Information for Each Technique 

Ways to Use These Techniques 

Techniques (listed alphabetically)

 1.        Alternate Writing 

 2.        Analytic Phonics 

 3.        Chunking 

 4.        Cloze Instruction 

 5.        Collaborative Reading 

 6.        Concept Mapping 

 7.        Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction 

 8.        Contextual Processing

 9.        Decoding by Analogy 

10.      Digital Talking Books

11.       Direct Experience Approach 

12.       Directed Reading Activity 

13.       Directed Reading-Thinking Activity 

14.       Experience—Text—Relationship

15.       Explicit Teaching 

16.       Feature Analysis Grid

17.       Framed Rhyming Innovations 

18.       Generative-Reciprocal Inference Procedure

19.       Graphic Organizers 

20.       Group Investigation Approach 

21.       Guided Reading 

22.       Imagery Instruction 

23.       Implicit Teaching

24.       Impress Method

25.       Interactive Writing 

26.       Internet Inquiry 

27.       Journal Writing 

28.       K-W-L 

29.       Language Experience Approach 

30.       Listening-Thinking Activity 

31.       Literature Discussions 

32.       Making Words 

33.       Making and Writing Words 

34.       Metaphors 

35.       Multisensory Approaches 

36.       Paired Reading 

37.       Phonogram Approach 

38.       Prediction Strategy Instruction 

39.       Process Writing 

40.       Question-and-Answer Relationships 

41.       Question-Generation Strategy 

42.       Questioning the Author 

43.       Readers Theater 

44.       Reciprocal Teaching 

45.       Repeated Readings 

46.       ReQuest 

47.       Retelling  308

48.       Retrospective Miscue Analysis 

49.       Say Something 

50.       Semantic Mapping 

51.       Sentence Combining 

52.       Shared Reading Approach 

53.       Sight-Word Approach

54.       Sound Boxes 

55.       SQ3R 

56.       Story Drama 

57.       Story Mapping 

58.       Story Writing Approach 

59.       Strategy Instruction 

60.       Summary Experience Approach 

61.       Summarization 

62.       Synthetic Phonics 

63.       Thematic-Inquiry Approach 

64.       Think-Aloud Approach 

65.       Visualization 

66.       Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy 

67.       Word Sorts 

68.       Word Walls 


Appendix A

Administering an Informal Reading Assessment 


Appendix B

Predictable Book List 


Appendix C

High Interest Series Books 


Appendix D

Online Resources 









For teachers

All the material you need to teach your courses.

Discover teaching material