Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study investigates potential differences in evaluated/applied spelling ability between learning disabled (LD) students instructed via a mnemonic approach versus those who received traditional instruction. Thirty-one 6th, 7th, and 8th grade LD students were divided into two groups—a mnemonic group of eight boys and four girls, and a non-mnemonic control group of ten boys and nine girls. The researcher used the Test of Written Spelling (TWS) as a pre-test measure to determine that there was no significant difference between the two groups in initial spelling ability. The mnemonic group attended eight sessions in which researchers instructed them in a modified version of Bellezza’s keyword method/associative learning technique. Sessions took place on eight consecutive days, with each session lasting one-half hour, for a total of four hours instruction. Both groups then received individualized word lists for ten consecutive weeks. The mnemonic group was instructed to apply the technique when studying while the non-mnemonic group used more traditional study methods to prepare for their weekly spelling tests. Researchers found that the mnemonic group did not perform significantly better on the two post-test evaluations than the non-mnemonic group. However, students expressed increased pleasure in using the mnemonic study method as a creative alternative to traditional rote methods.


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