Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Moroney Whited


This study investigated the effectiveness of instructing poor readers using the cloze procedure. The primary purpose was to determine whether significant differences in reading comprehension grade equivalent scores occurred between the treatment and control groups on a standardized reading achievement test. Five subskills of comprehension measured by this test were identified and analyzed to determine which subskill areas were affected by the use of cloze. A secondary purpose was to determine whether poor readers increased in ability to comprehend cloze material at their instructional level.

Thirty-one fourth and fifth grade poor readers participated in the study. The treatment and control groups were found to be comparable in both IQ and reading comprehension prior to the start of treatment. The treatment groups were instructed with cloze exercises three times each week in sessions of approximately 20 minutes. Specific instructional strategies were used during the 10-week period of instruction.

The data were analyzed at the .05 level of significance using a series of t tests. No significant differences in mean grade equivalent scores were found on the reading comprehension posttest between the treatment and control groups. None of the subskill areas could be positively identified as being affected by the use of the cloze procedure.

The fourth grade treatment group achieved significant pretest-posttest gain scores on cloze tests at their instructional level. The fifth grade treatment group made positive, although not significant, gains on cloze tests at their instructional level.

It was concluded that the use of cloze exercises encouraged the children in the treatment groups to give close attention to contextual cues in order to replace the deletion with a word which was syntactically and semantically acceptable. However, this improvement as measured by the cloze tests was not observable on the reading achievement test inferring that the abilities which were developed by the use of cloze were not transferred to the Stanford Achievement Test format.

Limitations of this study were pointed out. Suggestions for classroom applications and implications for further research were discussed.