Target

The effects of varying unit size on spelling achievement

Participants

Learning disabled children with an average chronological age of 122 months

Technique

The instructional period consisted of 7 steps used daily over a period of 3 days. The seven steps were: (1) Oral spelling, (2) Presentation and practice of words one at a time, (3) worksheet practice to help the child focus on each letter of the word, (4) mastery training to a criterion level of 3 consecutive writings of each word, (5) immediate and corrective feedback, (6) selective focus on difficult or misspelled parts of words, (7) distributed and cumulative practice and testing where by three-, four-, or five- word units are learned, reviewed, and integrated across the three days of instruction. On the 3rd day, measure of response memory was attained from each child.

Evaluation

They were evaluated through 7 methods: (1) average total words learned in response memory, (2) average number of words spelled correctly, (3) average percentage of correct additional words taught in the four and five word unit groups, (4) increase of transposition of word part errors, (5) variance in performance in the four and five unit groups, (6) teachers reports of fatigue and distractibility in each group, (7) and proportion of children reaching mastery in each group.

Source

Bryant, N. D., Drabin, I. R., & Gettinger, M. (1981). Effects of varying unit size on spelling achievement in learning disabled children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 14, 200-203.

Developers

Justine Granski & Kelly Trevillian, UVA


Target

increase reading and spelling skills

Participants

63 college students with dyslexia

Technique

The study was eight weeks long. The first seven weeks were devoted to direct instruction that consisted of blending sounds together in order to formulate words. The eighth and final week of the study was review and testing . Durning the first two weeks, the students concentrated on using multisensory techniques for memorizing and reviewing sound-symbol assignments. The students memorized the four ways to spell the short a sound in order of frequency of occurence in the English language. Example: 1. a as in glad. 2. a as in aunt. 3. ai as in plaid 4. i as in meringue. Mnemonic devices were used to aid the students in memorizing the four ways to spell the short a sound. One such mnemonic was,

"I'm glad that I took some of Aunt Polly's plaid pie with Meringue ." Weeks three through seven applied and reinforced the sound-symbol assignments learned in the first two weeks. The students learned step-by-step and sound-by-sound word attack and spelling strategies based on multisensory and direct instruction procedure. The students were taught the study skill SQ4R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Write, Reread). This was applied to improving reading and comprehension skills. The students performed morphological analysis of prefixes, suffixes, and root words. The eighth week was review and testing the skills taught and learned the first seven weeks of the study.

Evaluation

Pretest were compared to posttest taken by the students. The posttest showed significant improvement when the students implemented the study skills and strategies they were taught.

Source

Kitz,W.R.& Nash, R.T.,(1992). Testing the effectiveness of the Project Success Summer program for adults dyslexics. Annals of Dyslexia , vol.42,.6-24.

Developer

Milena C. Mathes, ETSU


Target

Increase word recognition and spelling

Participants

Two young men with mental retardation

Technique

In the first part of the program, the participants were encouraged to select a word that matched a picture. For example, given the printed words CAT, DOG, and BOY as comparisons, the student is taught to select CAT upon a picture of a cat. This procedure is called matching-to-sample (MTS). The second part of the program involves having the participants spell a word from letters provided to describe a picture. For example, given a picture of a DOG, the student selects the letters D-O-G from a choice pool consisting of D-T-O-A-G-B-C-Y. Thus the student not only learns to identify words but also learns to spell them correctly. This procedure is called constructed-response matching-to-sample (CRMTS). Because in CRMTS, the correct comparison is "constructed" by selection of its individual components.

In both programs, MTS and CRMTS, applicants received preliminary computer training. In this experiment a portable Apple Macintosh computer with a touch-sensitive screen was used. For practice, the participants were told to touch part of the screen that displayed a plus sign. When they did it correctly the screen flashed and melodic tones were played. When they did it incorrectly, the computer screen blacked out.

After accurate identity matching was established with geometric forms, uppercase letters of the alphabet were substituted. Each time a new letter was introduced for the applicants to select, the computer would prompt the applicant by first flashing the letter on and off the screen and later by fading the letters from black to gray. Each letter was eliminated over five fading steps. The fading procedure advanced one step following a correct response and backed up one step following an error; when a letter was completely faded out, three consecutive correct responses were required before fading began for the next letter.

Evaluation

Assessments consisted of two MTS and two CRMTS trials per word. Scores were calculated based on the percentage of consecutive letters correct.

Source

Dube, W.V., McDonald, S.J., McIlvane, W.J., & Mackay, H.A. (1991). Constructed-response matching to sample and spelling instruction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 305-331.

Developer

Jodie L. Hamilton, ETSU