Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, S. Jay

Committee Member 1

Accardo, Amy


English language--Orthography and spelling--Study and teaching (Elementary); Children with disabilities--Education


Language and Literacy Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to compare the success of phonetic-based and memory-based spelling instruction on students with learning disabilities. This study implemented a pretest-posttest design. The participants were six learning disabled second grade students in a resource room setting. All participants were performing below grade level in Language Arts and Reading. Data was collected during a baseline phase, intervention phase, and post-intervention phase. Students were taught list spelling words using both phonetic-based and memory-based strategies on alternating weeks. Their weekly progress and retention rates were recorded and compared to the baseline data. Overall, the results of the study showed that both phonetic-based and memory-based strategies can be an effective teaching method for students with learning disabilities. Participants in the study each favored one strategy over the other and performed best when their preferred strategy was used. Favored strategies were the same for students with the same or similar disabilities. All students made progress using both strategies as compared to the baseline data. This research shows the benefit of teaching in homogeneous groups based on specific learning disabilities.