Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Committee Chair(s)

Teresa Ukrainetz


Teresa Ukrainetz


Lisa Milman


Nicole Pyle


Purpose: This study investigated the effects of pictography with and without verbal rehearsal on informational recall of two types of expository texts. This study is part of a research program to further develop a treatment for younger students with language impairment called Sketch-and-Speak.

Procedure: 66 undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 40 were tested on recall of concrete versus abstract expository texts in a randomized group experiment across three conditions: pictography with and without verbal rehearsal versus re-reading. Participants were trained on the assigned testing condition and then proceeded to the experimental procedure. In the experimental procedure, participants read and studied two expository passages differing in concreteness and abstractness while utilizing the assigned learning strategy. Tests were presented in a counterbalanced order across participants within a condition. Following the reading and studying, participants were given a “mind wipe” to provide a pause between reading and testing. Participants then were administered a free recall on each text and then a multiple-choice recall test and a self-rating questionnaire on each.

Results: For concrete exposition, pictography significantly improved free recall over re-reading for number of key details. For both concrete and abstract exposition, pictography plus verbal rehearsal significantly improved recall for ideas, holistic quality of free recalls, and multiple-choice testing. 86% of participants in the Picto and PVR judged pictography as useful for the concrete text and 72% judged it useful for the abstract text. 85% of participants in the PVR condition found verbal rehearsal helpful for both texts. Pictography and verbal rehearsal strategies help recall of abstract texts, but help concrete informational recall even more.

Conclusion: This study indicates the potential for Sketch-and-Speak to improve student performance in expository comprehension and recall, and provides support and direction to further investigate this SLP treatment.