Authors: O'Connor RE, Jenkins JR
Title: Improving the generalization of sound/symbol knowledge: Teaching spelling to kindergarten children with disabilities
Source: The Journal of Special Education 1995 29(3): 255-275
Year: 1995
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

The purpose of this study was to test whether the application and transfer of segmentation and letter knowledge to reading could be encouraged by teaching spelling alongside code-based reading instruction. We formed five matched pairs of children with developmental delays based on their progress on kindergarten reading lessons in Reading Mastery I (Engelmann and Bruner, 1988) and randomly assigned one of each pair to an experimental treatment of 20 ten-min spelling lessons and one to a reading control group that practiced reading the same words. Children in the spelling treatment significantly improved their spelling and word-reading performance over the control group, but did not perform significantly better on a measure of phoneme segmentation. Our results suggest that the children who practiced forming letter representations of spoken words developed more complete generalizations of their current knowledge, which facilitated learning to read words.

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