Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #420
Effective Interventions for Urban Learners At-risk for or Who Have Severe Reading Deficits
Monday, May 26, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Williford C
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ralph Gardner III (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Mary Damer (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The symposium will present three papers on implementing effective instructional reading strategies to improve the skills of urban learners at high risk for or who have severe reading deficits. Urban learners are at increased risk for reading failure. Two papers will focus on preventing reading failure by teaching phonological and phonemic skills to preschool children at risk of reading failure. Students who have strong phonological skills upon entering kindergarten are more likely to become proficient readers. In the first study the Direct Instruction (DI) program, Language for Learning, was implemented to improve the phonological skills of preschool urban learners. The results demonstrated significant gains as measured by, Get It Got It Go. The second study used Torgesen’s, Phonological Awareness Training for Reading, to improve the phonemic and phonological skills of preschoolers with special needs. Results of this intense intervention were important gains in phonemic and phonological awareness skills. The third paper is a study involving urban middle school learners with severe reading deficits. This study used gifted peers as tutors who implemented the DI Corrective Reading program to improve the reading skills of students with severe reading deficits. Each tutee in this study demonstrated important gains in reading fluency.
Effects of Phonological Awareness Instruction on the Pre-reading Skills of Preschool At-Risk Children.
YI-WEI HSIN (Yu Da College of Business), Natalie Baker (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: This study investigated whether phonological awareness instruction based on the Phonological Awareness Training for Reading (Torgesen & Bryant, 1994), was effective in improving the phonemic-blending, phonemic-segmenting, and word reading skills of pre-school children at-risk for reading disabilities. Three preschool children at-risk for reading disabilities participated in this study. Their instruction took place during classroom free time period in a separate room. The first presenter developed series of systematic lesson plans based on the Phonological Awareness Training for Reading program that were implemented by a graduate student. The students received fifteen minutes of instruction five times a week. A multiple probes across subjects design was used to analyze the effects of the intervention. The researchers used both a curriculum based measure and DIBELS to assess the target behaviors. All three students showed improved phonemic awareness and phonological skills both keys for reading success in kindergarten. The students’ at risk status decreased according to their DIBELS assessments.
Preventing Reading Failure in At-Risk Preschool Students: Targeting Language and Literacy.
TEMPLE S LOVELACE (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Early literacy skills are essential for the success of all young students. The “alphabetic principle,” which states that: (a) letters represent speech sounds, (b) letters go together to make words and (c) a change in letters results in a change in both sounds and words (Neuman, 2006), is fundamental for young students’ reading success. In other words, students need phonemic and phonological awareness skills in order to develop reading skills. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of rhyming and alliteration instruction on phonological awareness. Prior to implementing the rhyming and alliteration portion of the intervention, participants were instructed using Language for Learning, a curriculum focused at increasing the words, concepts and statements important in oral and written language (Englemann & Obsorn, 1999). All participants in this study are identified as at-risk due to their low socio-economic status. Multiple baseline design across skills demonstrated that each of the participants made important gains in phonological awareness, rhyming, and alliteration skills closing the achievement gap between their skill level and that of their more affluent peers as determined by the Get It, Got It, Go assessment.
Using Gifted Middle School Students as Peer Tutors for Sixth Graders with Reading Deficits.
CHRISTOPHER D. YAWN (The Ohio State University), Kiesha Whitfield (The Ohio State University), Julie Herner (The Ohio State University), Robert Turner (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: In the United States there remains a struggle to teach all children to become proficient readers. Low performing urban schools throughout the United States are in critical need of remedial reading instruction due to higher reading failure rates. The Nations Report Card: Reading 2005 indicates that 44- 58% of Black, Hispanic, and poor children are reading below a basic level (Perie, Grigg, and Donahue, 2005). Poor reading skills often results in a decreased probability that one will be able to achieve academically or sustain employment in a typical job (Moats, 1999). Consequently, for many individuals reading failure can result in school dropout, unemployment, and incarceration. It is critical teachers and reading specialists provide effective reading interventions in urban schools. Peer-mediated instruction has proven to be an effective tool for improving a variety of academic skills. This study using a multiple baseline design across participants demonstrated the effectiveness of gifted peers as reading tutors. The tutors were trained by the researcher to tutor reading using the Direct Instruction: Corrective Reading Curriculum. All of the tutees made substantial gains during the course of this 12-week intervention. Tutees demonstrated improved reading achievement scores as well as increased reading fluency.



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