Over 20% of children in the United States public school system experience difficulties learning to read and write successfully (NICHHD, 2000). This number is even greater for children with language impairment (Catts et al., 2002). To date, however, studies focusing on developing literacy intervention for the language impaired population have focused on phonological awareness skills with little attention to other linguistic factors involved in literacy development. One such linguistic factor, morphological awareness, has been associated with achievement in word level reading, spelling knowledge, and vocabulary acquisition. This study investigated the efficacy of a linguistically-explicit approach to morphological awareness training for children with language impairment. Sixteen 3rd graders diagnosed with language impairment participated in this study. Each subject, randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions, participated in two 30-minute group treatment sessions weekly for the duration of the study, totaling 10 weeks and 10 hours of treatment. The primary difference between the experimental and control groups were the absence of linguistically-explicit instruction for the control group. They were exposed to the same stimuli in similar activities, but no attention was given to highlighting the common orthographic (spelling) patterns or meanings associated with the use of the prefixes or suffixes. Descriptive quantitative research methods were used to answer the study’s research questions. A mixed model repeated-measures ANOVA was used to address the efficacy of the intervention program on the reading, spelling, and vocabulary skills of the participants. Results from the ANOVA showed statistically significant group differences on the posttest scores for the spelling and vocabulary experimental measures. The participants in the experimental group made significantly greater gains in spelling accuracy and vocabulary knowledge than did those in the control group. A nested factor was used to determine whether the participants were able to generalize the skills learned in treatment to new words. Results from the nested factor showed statistically significant group differences on the vocabulary measure. Participants in the experimental group demonstrated greater generalization on the vocabulary measure than those in the control condition. The findings of this study indicate that a linguistically-explicit approach to morphological awareness instruction is effective in producing gains in reading, spelling, and vocabulary skills for children with language impairment.
|Commitee:||Gentry, Betholyn, Gregg, Brent, Rainey, Jacquie, Taran-Michael, Valentina|
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|Department:||Communication Sciences and Disorders|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Language impairment, Literacy intervention, Morphological awareness, Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary skills|
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