Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Browne, Susan


Alphabetic Principle, emergent literacy, first grade, phonemic awareness, struggling readers


Phonemics; Culturally relevant pedagogy; Individualized reading instruction


Elementary Education and Teaching


Because of the documented positive impact of small group intervention on student success, this research investigates the impact of participation in teacher research on emergent literacy intervention grounded in student data. This research focused on exploring how dedicated, meaningful, targeted instruction based on assessment can foster reading readiness and increase reading potential for two low achieving 1st grade students. The research design consisted of student and teacher interviews, diagnostic testing, and teacher journaling. The research inquiry was: 1) What are the effects of intensive small group instruction in phonemic awareness, coupled with deep conversations about culturally responsive literature for struggling 1st grader students?; 2) How can using multicultural or culturally conscious literature expand students’ attitudes toward reading?; and 3) How can systematic, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle strengthen overall reading success?

Qualitative data was used to plan systematic lessons and followed a specific sequence in order to create motivation and engagement for 30-40 minutes. This study demonstrated the positive effects of targeted interventions in phonemic awareness, multisensory strategies for sight word recognition, and choosing culturally responsive text to build listening and retelling skills can impact struggling learners.