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Title: Comparing a controlled levelled vocabulary with a language rich vocabulary in a beginner reading scheme
Author: Price-Mohr, Ruth Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 3349
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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The primary aim of this research was to compare the effect of using vocabulary that is within a child’s current decoding ability in a reading text, with vocabulary that is beyond it. The original contribution to knowledge presented here is the discovery that children of all abilities and both genders can make greater gains in early reading when using reading books that go beyond their current phonic decoding ability (Intervention A), than from reading books that have a controlled, levelled vocabulary (Intervention P). The secondary aim of this research was to compare the use of a synthetic-phonics only approach with mixed teaching methods. Three separate, but related studies were completed in schools across two counties. In total, there were 16 schools and 372 children who participated (4 schools acting as controls). A novel reading intervention, which had been purposely developed for the research (weebee Reading Programme), was used in 12 classes randomised to one of two possible Intervention strands (A or P). Measures of word reading and comprehension were used at both pre-test and post-test. All three studies were carried out over a 12-month period, although they began at staggered intervals. The main findings were: first, children who used vocabulary that included many words which were beyond their current decoding ability, made greater gains in word decoding and comprehension than children using only vocabulary within their current decoding ability. Second, those children who had been taught using a mixed approach in addition to synthetic phonics made greater gains (particularly in comprehension) than those children taught using only synthetic phonics. In addition, gender analyses for all three studies, which included a small group of struggling readers, indicated greater gains for boys compared to girls, from using both the mixed approach to teaching as well as the non-decodable vocabulary.
Supervisor: Tracey, Louise ; Bowyer-Crane, Claudine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available