Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Patricia E. Baker
The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference between recall of sounds and symbols of the alphabet by students who were taught the letters of the alphabet using a manual alphabet (fingerspelling), versus recall of the sounds and symbols of the alphabet by students who were taught without fingerspelling.
Using a population of 20 regular education kindergarten students from a rural, upstate New York school district, the researcher found whether or not the manual alphabet played a role in kindergarten students' sight and symbol recognition of the alphabet.
For three consecutive weeks, the researcher taught a treatment group (N=10) a letter a day. The sessions lasted 30 minutes and included the instruction of the manual alphabet for each letter taught, along with enrichment activities. For the same three weeks, the researcher taught a control group (N=10) the same letters of the alphabet, with the same enrichment activities, in the same fashion, without the use of the manual alphabet.
At the end of the instruction time, the researcher administered an "ABC" inventory to the entire population. The "ABC" inventory was designed by the researcher. The subjects recalled the sounds and symbols of the letters they were taught. The number of correct identifications were calculated for both of the groups. The group mean data from the measure was analyzed using an independent t-test.
After testing the null hypotheses at the .05 level of significance by the independent t-test, the results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean score of the treatment group and the control group on their ability to recognize the alphabet visually. There also was no statistically significant difference between the mean score of the treatment group and the control group on the ability to recall the alphabet auditorally. Further research was recommended.
Andriach, Mary Katherine Waple, "The Role of the Manual Alphabet in Letter Recognition by Kindergarten Children" (1993). Master's Theses. 6.