A comparison of two methods of teaching word recognition to kindergarten students

Hann, Peggy L. (1999) A comparison of two methods of teaching word recognition to kindergarten students. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Recent studies have suggested that teaching methods which emphasize letter-sound associations are important to beginning readers. The current study tested a Spelling-drill and a Sentence-practice method of reading instruction, and investigated factors which are correlated with word recognition ability in thirty-six kindergarten students. It was hypothesized that the Spelling-drill Group would perform better than the Sentence-practice Group. -- The experiment was completed over four sessions. In the first session, a battery of tests was administered: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Revised (PPVT - R), the Rosner Auditory Analysis Test, a Rapid Automatized Naming Task (RAN), an Auditory and a Semantic Word Retrieval Task, and a Pretest of the words that were taught and tested during the experiment. For the second and third sessions, subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups, a Spelling-drill Group, taught sixteen target words by a drill method, or a Sentence-practice Group, taught the same sixteen words by a sentence-context method. A spelling test of the target words was given at the end of each training session. During session four, all subjects were tested to determine recognition of target, incidental (words embedded in sentences that were not explicitly taught), and transfer (new words from the same family that had not been taught) words. The Wide Range Achievement Test - Revised (WRAT - R) was also administered during the final session. -- The mean number of words recognized was higher for the Spelling-drill Group, but the difference was not statistically significant. However, when groups were restricted to subjects who knew all the letters of the alphabet on the RAN task, the Spelling-drill Group, as predicted, identified significantly more target words than did the Sentence-practice Group. The Spelling-drill Group spelled more words correctly and identified more target and transfer words than did the Sentence-practice Group. The results suggest that a drill method that teaches about sounds that letters make by using repetitions of words from the same family is an effective method of teaching both early word recognition and spelling. -- Previous findings that word recognition correlates with the Rosner, PPVT, and the RAN were replicated. As predicted, both phonological awareness measures, the Rosner and auditory retrieval, were found to be significantly positively correlated with the reading measures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9029
Item ID: 9029
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 57-66.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Word recognition--Testing; Kindergarten

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