Date of Award

7-1998

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Anita McClain

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer three research questions: 1) What is involved to teach students phonics? 2) How do students apply the skills they have learned in phonics to spelling and writing? and 3) What type of effect does this have on students' ability to spell and write. My research was based on the work of Romalda Spalding (1990). Spalding worked under Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a renowned neuropathologist who spent his career studying how the human brain functions learning language, and went on to use this method in her teaching. This study took place in an urban elementary school located in the Pacific Northwest. The participants were third and fourth grader children. Information was gathered in the classroom, through instructional texts, and through a variety of methods including observations, written and oral survey, work samples, and informal interviews. To protect the participants' anonymity the researcher used pseudonyms for all participants . in this study. After collecting and organizing extensive field notes, interviews, surveys, and student work, it became clear that phonics helped students improve their spelling and writing skills. The researcher concluded The Writing Road To Reading was an effective method for teachers to use teaching phonograms, and teaching how to use phonograms in the students' spelling and writing. This research revealed that students benefited by learning the basics and sequentially learning about the English language. The researcher had a sense of accomplishment and success by personally learning more about English and being able to have the ability teach this information to students.

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