Date Approved

5-6-2002

Embargo Period

5-20-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Mantua Township School District (Mantua, N.J.); Computer-assisted instruction; Learning disabled children; Reading (Elementary)

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether participation in the Fast ForWord Reading Program had an effect on reading achievement. Fast ForWord is a computer-based program that utilizes a CD-ROM as well as the Internet to enable students to learn and practice skills that are critical to language comprehension and reading development. According to Scientific Learning, the developer of the Fast ForWord Program, 40% of students need to improve their reading skills. Therefore, Scientific Learning developed a computer program that can alter speech sounds, enabling students to differentiate between phonemes, increase language skills, increase phonological awareness, expand working memory, increase processing speed, improve grammar, improve syntax, and improve sequencing.

This study evaluated the reading progress of two groups. The first group consisted of thirty-three classified students in the first through sixth grades that participated in an eight-week summer Fast ForWord Program. The second group contained twenty-six students in the second through sixth grades who did not attend the program. The students were pre tested and post tested, using the Broad Reading Component of the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery. The data showed that groups were not equivalent at the beginning of the study, and therefore, the influence of the Fast ForWord training as a treatment to correct reading delays could not be unequivocally determined.

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