A Study Showing the Effects a Language Enrichment Program Has on the Auditory and Reading Comprehension Scores of a Third Grade Class

Irma Cleaves Hess, The College at Brockport


This study investigated the effects a language enrichment program had on the auditory and reading comprehension scores of a third grade class. The sample consisted of forty third grade students from two heterogeneously grouped classrooms in a suburban school.

The treatment designed to interrelate all the components of language, involved the participation of one class of twenty subjects in a variety of language activities for approximately one hour each day for twelve weeks. This class was compared with twenty subjects from a traditional class who had been instructed through a structured, rule-oriented program.

The Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Listening Comprehension subtests from the Stanford Achievement Tests Primary Level II administered at the end of second grade were used as the pretest and the equivalent subtests from the Stanford Achievement Tests Primary

Level III administered at the end of the treatment, as the posttest.

The analysis of covariance of the pretest and posttest raw scores showed no significant difference between the reading comprehension and auditory scores of any of the groups involved in the enrichment program and those in the traditional groups.

There were several limitations to the study. There were a small number of subjects from one grade level in a suburban setting, the raw scores were compared without consideration of IQ or age, and the control group was receiving instruction during the treatment period.

Further research could be done to show the effects of a longer language enrichment period on reading achievement, and whether or not a positive attitude toward reading precedes a gain in reading achievement. A comparison study of the development of writing skills between a language experience approach and a traditional approach would be valuable to classroom teachers.

Positive attitudes toward reading, creative writing and opening exercises developed within the enrichment group and speaking vocabularies increased as an understanding of new terminology developed.