Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



Using a response to intervention framework, this study investigates the efficacy of a classroom-based intervention for struggling readers with decoding deficits in the upper elementary grades. Twenty two students in the fourth and sixth grades from four classrooms in low-performing schools received either a short 20-minute intervention delivered by their teacher or access to the lessons for an equivalent amount of time but no teacher instruction. Using three orthographic patterns, the 24 lessons consisted of a series of ten minimally contrasted words differing by one letter. The students in the experimental group decoded the words using a visual alphabet (Phonic Faces) and then spelled each word to reinforce the orthographic connections. Practice with word cards and contextual reading with the words in a short story were also included in the lesson. The experimental group receiving the teacher instruction made significant gains in nonword reading compared to the control group and these gains were not based on verbal ability or performance on a particular orthographic pattern. These results indicate that following intervention, the experimental group was beginning to more fully decode each letter of a word.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Norris, Janet A.