Date of this Version
Bohaty, J. J. (2015). The effects of expository text structure instruction on the reading outcomes of 4th and 5th graders experiencing reading difficulties. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a standard protocol supplemental expository text structure intervention (i.e., Structures) on 45 4th and 5th graders experiencing reading difficulties. Students were enrolled in six K-8 parochial schools located in a Midwestern suburban city. Within classrooms, students were randomly assigned to Structures intervention or a business-as-usual control condition. Students in the Structures condition were taught to identify and discriminate among the five text structures used by authors of expository text (Meyer, 1975, 1985): description, sequence, cause/effect, compare/contrast, and problem/solution. Students in the business-as-usual control condition participated in the same activities or instruction provided by their respective classroom teachers. At post-test, experimental students (n = 24) in the experimental condition significantly outperformed control students (n = 21) on a proximal (i.e., linked directly with the instructional focus of the intervention) researcher-created measure assessing the ability of students to identify text structures (d = 0.94). Experimental students did not significantly outperform controls on a distal (i.e., not linked directly with the instructional focus of the intervention) researcher-created measure assessing expository reading comprehension (d = 0.14) or on a delayed distal norm-referenced measure of expository reading comprehension (d = -0.11). The results, practical implications, and limitations are discussed.
Adviser: J Ron Nelson