Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Benjamin Lignugaris-Kraft

Abstract

The Early Reading First Program emphasizes that preschool classrooms provide services to better prepare children entering kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive, and literacy skills that can avert reading difficulties. This study investigated two questions. The first addressed the effectiveness of the ERF program on students identified with a disability within control and experimental groups. The second addressed the effectiveness of the ERF program on subpopulations of students within the ERF program categorized with a severe language delay or a mild/moderate language delay. To address the first question, results showed a statistically significant difference between the control sample and experimental sample of posttest data in the area of language development. Addressing the second question, results showed a statistically significant difference in posttest scores between the mild/moderate sample of students versus the severe sample of students on the Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI) Alliteration subtest and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Print-Word Awareness subtest. A major limitation of this study is the small number of children and, thus, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions.

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