Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Janet Norris


Twelve adult low-ability readers participated in a pretest-posttest control group study investigating the efficacy of Communicative Reading Strategies (CRS) as an instructional reading approach. Six adults received CRS instruction and constituted the experimental group. The remaining six adults received skill-based instruction and served as the control group. All participants demonstrated instructional level reading skills at or below a fifth grade level and completed 40 hours of instruction. Changes in performance on measures of word recognition, comprehension, and reading rate from pretest to posttest were used to compare CRS and control groups. Results of Mann Whitney U analyses revealed that both methods of instruction were effective in improving word recognition and comprehension abilities for most subjects. For individual subjects and mean group gains, the word recognition and comprehension results favored the CRS group, although these differences did not reach a level of statistical significance. Further analyses of the reading performance of CRS subjects revealed additional findings. Scaffolding provided by CRS interactions increased both the assisted word recognition level and assisted comprehension scores for most subjects at both pretest and posttest. Furthermore, reading gains made under scaffolded conditions at pretest were highly predictive of actual unassisted reading gains demonstrated after 40 hours of instruction. Measures of reading accuracy, fluency, rate, comprehension, and story retelling ability obtained from CRS subjects after every 10 hours of instruction was not representative of actual gains demonstrated at posttest.