Date of Award

5-12-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

The effects of multisensory instruction upon the letter and sight word recognition and reading of five and six year old students were investigated during this study. A total of ten kindergarten and first grade students, identified as in need of extra reading support, were assigned to control and experimental groups. Five students were assigned to each group. Students in the control group learned and practiced identifying letters and reading sight words using their visual and auditory modalities. Students in the experimental group used their. visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile modalities to identify and read letters and sight words. Students were assessed on their recognition of letter names through Marie Clay's Letter Identification task. Sight words were assessed using a teacher made word recognition assessment based on sixteen sight words from Dolch Sight Words List I. Informal oral interview questions were coupled with anecdotal records to triangulate the data gathering by the researcher. Upon completion of four weeks of instruction, each group was assessed for a second time on their recognition of letter names and sight word reading. Results of this study yielded the finding that students instructed through multisensory activities not only improved their number of sight words and letters, but also expressed more pleasurable recounts of the lessons experienced. The discrepancy between the control and experimental group is elaborated on in the discussion portion. Furthermore, in an effort to benefit future classrooms, practical implications are discussed and topics for further research are also stated. "Anyone who thinks there is one right way to teach reading, has never worked with two children" (Ford, 2005)

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