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Thesis

Examing the impact of the teaching strategy on adolescent literacy skills

16 June 2004

Abstract

The intent of the study is to examine the impact of the Making Words teaching strategy on the literacy skills of adolescent learners. Previous studies show positive impact at the primary level. This study examines students' responses to Making Words by asking four questions: • Is there transferable benefit seen in spelling skills? • Is phonemic awareness improved? • Are reading word attack skills improved? • Is there benefit seen in overall reading ability? ii Data have been collected through a triangulation of three methods: pretests and posttests in specific skill areas, a student confidence survey, and teacher observation of students engaged in spelling attempts within the context of authentic writing. These data suggest that students do make improvements in overall spelling, phonemic awareness, word attack skills, and overall reading. The largest gains were seen in the areas of word attack and phonemic awareness. Due to the small sample size and lack of control, since this was not the sole method of literacy instruction, generalizability of these findings is limited. It does seem to provide encouragement that this strategy has valuable usage with older learners


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