Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Janet A. Norris


This study investigated the relative effects of two instructional approaches on reading recognition and comprehension of passages read by low-SES first grade children. It was hypothesized that use of a contextualized instructional approach (i.e., Communicative Reading Strategies) (CRS) which facilitated written language processing (i.e., vocabulary acquisition, grammatical understanding, narrative structure, and passage comprehension) within the context of oral reading would result in better internalization of a written story than would decontextualized activities (i.e., Directed Reading) (DR) targeting the same behaviors immediately preceding or following the reading of a story. The efficacy of the two treatments was measured by (1) fluency and accuracy of story rereading, and (2) complexity and accuracy of story retellings elicited immediately following the instructional sessions. An alternating treatment design (ATD) was employed in the single-subject study. The subjects included Four female subjects, one Anglo-American, one American-Hispanic, and two African-Americans. Their ages ranged from 6;3 to 6;11 years. Many of the measures failed to yield significant differences between the two instructional approaches. The seven significant differences and the trends in the data all favored the CRS treatment. These findings suggested that under the CRS condition (1) fewer miscues occurred, (2) with fewer miscues, the rate of the rereading increased, (3) more story grammar components were included in the story retellings, (4) story retellings consisted of more episodes, (5) the length of the story retellings was longer, (6) story retellings consisted of fewer maze behaviors, and (7) more interepisodic relations were included in the story retellings. Not all of the variables measured were discriminating. Three of the four subjects performed equally as well under both treatment conditions on the number of phrasing errors observed during the rereading, the percentage of complete episodes included in the story retellings, and the episodic integrity of their story retellings. However, Subject One did produce fewer phrasing errors during the rereading, a greater percentage of complete episodes included in the story retellings, and a higher level of episodic integrity in her story retelling under the CRS condition. The results of the study are discussed relative to future research and instructional implications for low-SES poor readers.