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ERIC Number: ED524906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 237
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-5323-1
ISSN: N/A
Efficacy of Thematic Units on Language and Literacy: A Collaborative Study of a Shelter Unit Intervention with Struggling First Graders
Hale, Suzan L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Sam Houston State University
The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of using thematic units in small group instructional settings for struggling readers to increase oral language in the areas of receptive, expressive, and written vocabulary. This research examined the efficacy of using thematic units in small group instructional settings for struggling readers to increase oral language in the areas of receptive, expressive, and written vocabulary and literacy skills including reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written expression. In addition, the attitudes and affect of the students regarding their participation in a thematic units program were examined. The connection between oral language competencies and reading is described as well as the connection between and importance of motivation and thematic units. Studies examining the benefits of thematic units are described. Select students in first grade who were at risk for reading difficulties were pretested for oral and reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written expression. Subsequently, a group of these students participated in ten treatment sessions using a thematic unit approach and were then retested to measure the effect of the pull-out enrichment program. This was a collaborative study by two researchers, one with a background in speech-language pathology and the other with a background in reading and education. Results were measured by this researcher using receptive, expressive, and written vocabulary measures and by her colleague using measures of reading vocabulary, reading levels, and written expression. Quantitative analysis was obtained using independent samples t-tests comparing the pre and post-test scores of each measure between the treatment and comparison groups. Students' attitudes were observed every session and discussed using qualitative analysis. Results indicated a statistically significant increase in the scores of the treatment group for all measures, receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, written vocabulary as well as for all measures observed by the companion researcher, sight word vocabulary, reading level and written expression. Through the qualitative analysis the themes of motivation and engagement emerged, demonstrating that these students were provided incentive to learn with the thematic units approach. The findings of this study contribute to the knowledge base concerning the use of thematic units as a teaching strategy for vocabulary development, reading and writing in struggling first graders. The topic of thematic units is important to educators and seriously under-researched. This study reveals that students enjoy this learning strategy and are enthusiastic and engaged and thus become successful learners. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A