The use of a whole language approach to develop sight vocabulary in high risk primary children

Ryall, Margaret (1985) The use of a whole language approach to develop sight vocabulary in high risk primary children. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover whether a basal reader-phonics approach of a whole language approach would produce larger sight vocabularies in high risk children who had experienced difficulties with their kindergarten program. The whole language approach has a theoretical foundation in the psycholinguistic theory of reading and encourages the use of children's strengths in language--their syntactic and semantic knowledge--as a basis for developing reading. Children instructed in a whole language environment are introduced to print in meaningful situations through language experience, predictable books, repetitive poetry and personal writing using invented spelling. -- The sample in this study was composed of eleven children from two grade one classes in two different years. Group one, consisting of five children who were in grade one during 1979-80, was taught through a basal reader-phonics approach. Group two, composed of six children who attended grade one in 1982-83, was taught through a whole language approach. The Slosson Oral Reading Test (SORT) was administered to both groups in May of their grade one and grade two years. The WISC-R intelligence test was administered early in their grade one year to obtain verbal and performance ability scores. -- Pearson product moment correlations revealed a high correlation between the whole language treatment and achievement at the end of grade two but not at the end of grade one. One-way analyses of variance indicated that the effects of treatment on Achievement were not significant at the end of grade one but were significant at the .001 level at the end of grade two. It was concluded that the whole language approach enabled children to acquire a larger sight vocabulary than did the basal reader-phonics approach. -- Four case studies were included to illustrate other positive aspects of the treatment. There was evidence that children who were introduced to reading through whole language were more interested in books and reading, were exposed to more situations which encouraged the development of background knowledge, and were aware early in their instructional program that print was meaningful.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4439
Item ID: 4439
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 88-94.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1985
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading (Primary); Reading (Primary)--Language experience approach; Basal reading instruction; Word recognition

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