Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

Don C. Carter


Don C. Carter


Carroll Lambert


Alan Hofmeister


Claudia Fuhriman


The purpose of this experimental study was to conduct and evaluate a teaching method for improving verbal expression performance of Head Start children. The teaching method of language stimulation given the experimental subjects was based on story reading and retelling with active participation by the children in daily small group tutoring sessions, for seven weeks. An academic program given the control subjects included specific vocabulary and sequencing training. Verbal expression was measured by an analysis of stories told by each subject before and after tutoring, in response to sequence pictures and standup figures. Measures of vocabulary, sentence structure and evidence of sequence were used in the analysis. The experimental language tutored group gained significantly from pre- to posttest in 11 Of 20 verbal expression criteria. Although a comparison of group means showed the experimental group's performance to have exceeded that of the control group in 15 criteria, only one vocabulary score was significantly greater for the experimental subjects. It was concluded that verbal expression skills can be accelerated through training. The teaching method based on story reading was recommended for use by Odgen Head Start teachers as one method of improving verbal expression.