Date of Award

4-1988

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate if first graders would be more successful at decoding words derived from environmental print as compared to graphically similar words not derived from environmental print. First graders with high reading achievement and first graders with low reading achievement were also examined to see if they were more successful at decoding words derived from environmental print as compared to graphically similar words not derived from environmental print.

The subjects consisted of 79 first graders from a single rural elementary school who had had eight months of formal reading instruction. The subjects were asked to read 36 isolated words and phrases. Eighteen words and phrases were derived from environmental print and eighteen words and phrases were from graphically similar words but not derived from environmental print. The environmental print consisted of labels selected from an array of toy and food products that were familiar to the subjects and local store and street signs that were also familiar to the subjects. Correct responses for each category were recorded.

The results indicated that first graders were more successful at decoding the graphically similar words not derived from environmental print. This result was also true for the low achievers. The results for the high achievers indicated that they were able to successfully decode environmental print and graphically similar words.

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