Year of Publication

1987

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Donna Keenan

Second Advisor

Dr. Bruce Gutnecht

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Mittelstadt

Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the language experience approach (LEA) for teaching reading and writing skills to functionally illiterate high school students who were identified as learning disabled. Twenty-one 9th-grade students ages fifteen to sixteen participated.

The students were divided into a control group and an experimental group. The control group was instructed through the use of a commercial reading kit, Reader's Workshop I (1974). The experimental group received instruction using the LEA which uses student written material to generate reading skill activities.

To verify effectiveness of the LEA, pre- and posttests of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test (1976), or SDRT, brown level, forms A and B and the Sentence Writing Strategy Pretest (1985), or SWSP, were administered to both the control and experimental groups.

The results on the subtests of the SDRT indicated no significant gains or losses of reading skill ability for either group. The SWSP though, indicated a significant gain in sentence writing ability of 29 percentage points for the experimental group while the control group lost 11 percentage points.

It is therefore evident that the language experience approach can be successful for teaching reading and writing skills to functionally illiterate high school students because it integrates reading and writing rather than providing detached skill instruction.

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