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 (Elementary); Reading (Elementary)--Language experience approach


Disability and Equity in Education


This study compared the gains made in recognition and naming of the 21 consonant letters of the alphabet as well as production of the phonemes to the letters by two special needs groups of children from the ages of five to ten. One group of seven students received instruction in a traditional class, with the teacher presenting one letter of the alphabet per week. The second group of eleven students was taught in a whole language class, with an emphasis on reading and writing without isolated instruction in individual letters. The children were pretested in October, 1996 and posttested in March, 1997 to measure their individual growth in each area. A visual inspection of the data collected revealed that in the traditional class, all seven students made gains in naming letters, and three made gains in producing the corresponding phonemes. In the whole language class, 10 of 11 students named all the letters presented at posttesting and also improved their ability to produce phonemes. Overall, more students made gains in the whole language class, and more students failed to make gains in the traditional class.