The effectiveness of a classroom-wide word study programme to enhance the spelling skills of children with dyslexia
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
Remediation of skills deficient in students with dyslexia typically occurs via withdrawal interventions focusing on phonological awareness and letter-sound knowledge. While one-on-one interventions are widely used, little attention has been paid to the alternative teaching approach of integrating multiple linguistic component interventions within the classroom. Accordingly, this study aims to examine the effectiveness of using word study within the classroom on the spelling skills of students with dyslexia. The study was divided into two parts: 1) examining the efficacy of incorporating a small group multiple linguistic intervention within the classroom on the spelling skills of 9-year-old students with dyslexia, and if there were similar effects for reading abilities; and 2) analysing the effects of word study instruction at the whole group level on student spelling. Two case study students (both 9-years of age) with dyslexia underwent small group multiple linguistic intervention, and were monitored for 8 weeks (3 days/week; 20 minutes/session) using baseline, intervention and post-intervention probes. Whole group word study instruction was enacted in a Year 4/5 classroom for 8 weeks (1 day/week; 1 hour/session), and the spelling performance of the 9-year-old students (i.e., n = 7) were compared to same age students from a control classroom (i.e., n = 7) in pre-post assessments. Both small group intervention case study students demonstrated significant improvements in spelling, yet minimal improvement was seen for reading. Whole group comparisons indicated no significant improvement. The findings for this study have implications for: a) research on effective interventions for older children with dyslexia, and b) the practical use of spelling interventions that are designed to co-exist within classroom instruction.