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The effect of direct instruction in phonemic awareness, multisensory phonics, and fluency on the basic reading skills of low -ability seventh grade students

Geraldine Marshall Mohler, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study explored the effects of a program of direct instruction in phonemic awareness, multisensory phonics, and fluency on comprehension, word recognition, phonemic awareness, spelling, and oral reading fluency on 25 low-ability, high risk seventh grade students. Twenty-five students were given direct instruction in these three areas over the course of a year. Approximately 43 minutes per day were devoted to this instruction. Periodic assessments were given to capture gains in the students' basic reading skills. A repeated measures t-test was used to measure change in five different pre- and posttest assessments: (1) total reading score, (2) word recognition, (3) phonemic awareness or correct letter sequence, (4) spelling or words spelled correctly, and (5) oral reading fluency. Differences in the mean scores on the pretest given at the end of the year were all significantly different for each of the five assessments. ^ Regression analysis of individual and group performance produced less robust results. Models were analyzed looking at whether or not the increase (slope) in learning differed significantly from 0 for each individual student and for eight subgroups: (1) males and females; (2) Handicapping condition (Resource student, ELL student, or students with a cognitive disability), and (3) for students who began the year at one of three different reading levels—first, second, or third. Some models achieved significance. ^ Based on the results of this study, three recommendations were made: (1) in order to improve the reading skills of low ability middle school students, a curriculum that includes phonemic awareness, phonics instruction and fluency training may produce significant gains in the decoding skills of these high-risk students; (2) in order to help future teachers meet the full range of linguistic needs represented in classrooms, pre-service preparation in the teaching of reading should include work in the basic phonics approaches; and (3) the diagnosis of a child's phonemic awareness and phonics ability should be an integral part of the learning assessments that occur in the elementary grades. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Elementary|Education, Special|Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

Mohler, Geraldine Marshall, "The effect of direct instruction in phonemic awareness, multisensory phonics, and fluency on the basic reading skills of low -ability seventh grade students" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3064564.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3064564

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