Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Urban, Stanley


Learning disabled children--Education; Reading comprehension


Disability and Equity in Education


The purpose of this study is to compare the relationship between the comprehension levels of a student's silent reading level to their oral comprehension level when a passage is read to them. It will also address the theory that reading is a visual symbol system superimposed on auditory language. Theorists state that reading is a symbol system twice removed from the realities which they represent. This statement implies a developmental progression as described by Myklebust. That is, the child first integrates nonverbal experience directly. Next he acquires auditory, then later a visual verbal system which represents both the experience and the auditory symbol. By working on improving reading we are assuming a higher level of oral comprehension.

The individuals who will participate in this study are 20 special education students from this researcher's middle school. The 15 males and 5 females, ranging in age from 14 years 3 months to 10 years 4 months have been selected as a convenience group (N=20) from three self-contained special education classes ranging from grades fifth through eighth. Ten of these students, ranging from fifth to seventh grade, have been students of this researcher's class since September, 2003 will be identified as a treatment group. The participants were selected because they are readily available to this examiner. The population of interest is all special education classes in this examiner's school. Generalization of results will be to this population.

Data obtained from the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Fourth Edition, (SDRT 4) as well as the Jerry John's Basic Reading Inventory, (JJBRI) were utilized in both the pre and post reading testing. The participants were from both this examiner's class and two self-contained classes.

Using the students' levels of reading the five components of a balanced reading program were implemented in this researcher's classroom throughout the week's lessons. The five basic components which are: (1) Read aloud, (2) Shared reading, (3) Guided reading and writing, (4) Paired/cooperative Reading and Writing, and (5) Independent Reading and Writing, were used by this researcher to strengthen as well as maintain reading comprehension skills of the students. Five generalized competencies, which are also necessary for a student to acquire self-confidence and motivation in learning reading were taught. The five competencies are: (1) fluency, (2) word knowledge, (3) flexible strategy use, (4) motivation, and (5) continued reading.

The post reading assessments were given at the end of March, 2004 to the eighteen remaining students who were left following transfers. The reading prompt was identical to the prompt given to the study group in September 2003. Results showed minimal improvement in reading ability.