Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Urban, Stanley


New Jersey College Basic Skills Placement Test; Rowan University. University Learning Center; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; Reading (Higher education)


Disability and Equity in Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between selected language-based predictors of reading competence and the reading performance of a group of college-level ESL students receiving Basic Skills instruction. It appeared that a language barrier was preventing this group of students from passing their Basic Skills Reading requirement. It was hypothesized that this resulted in a lack of necessary skills for comprehending standard English. Based on theoretical perspectives obtained from a review of the literature, the language-based characteristics needed to obtain a passing score on the Basic Skills Reading are vocabulary, short-term verbal memory, and broad linguistic skills, including grammatical fluency.

Each of the three variables – vocabulary, verbal memory, and linguistic skills – were measured individually for each student using subtests from the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition-Form A (PPVT-Ill-A), the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-Third Edition (DTLA-3), and the Test of Language Development-Intermediate: Third Edition (TOLD-I:3), respectively. These results were then interpreted and compared to the students' scores on the Basic Skills Reading test for any existing patterns and relationships. An examination of the data showed that the predicted relationships did not emerge. Further study is necessary to determine the basis for reading failure among this population in order to formulate effective remedial procedures.