A Morphological Awareness-based Intervention for Struggling Readers
Morphological awareness is the awareness of and ability to manipulate the smallest units of meaning in words, and it enables children to identify meaningful units in words. Studies have shown morphological awareness predicts and affects word reading (Kirby et al., 2012), reading comprehension (Deacon, Tong, & Francis, 2017; Carlisle & Fleming, 2003), vocabulary (McBride-Chang et al., 2005), and spelling (Deacon & Bryant, 2006; Deacon, et al., 2009). Recent meta-analyses have found that morphological awareness intervention benefits at-risk and struggling readers, leading to gains in phonological awareness and morphological awareness, as well as gains in word reading, spelling, and reading comprehension (Bowers, Kirby, & Deacon, 2010; Carlisle, 2010; Goodwin & Ahn, 2010; 2013; Reed, 2008), with larger effects when in conjunction with other types of literacy intervention (phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and vocabulary). This study assesses the effects of a morphological awareness-based intervention for students with dyslexia to improve word reading and spelling. This study employed a wait-list control group design and assessed all 24 students before and after the intervention which consisted of direct instruction on morphological awareness and its application to reading, spelling and vocabulary. Data were analyzed with t-tests, repeated measures ANOVAS and ANCOVA. The results showed that the sample met the criteria for a learning disability in reading, and that the experimental group showed larger gains than the control group on the following outcome measures: Word Analogy, Sentence Completion Derivation, Morphological Decoding, Morphological Analysis, and Morphological Spelling. There were no significant effects on word reading (fluency and accuracy), or on standardized spelling. Gains in morphological processing, particularly in decoding and analysis, strengthen the foundation for literacy gains and are encouraging in that they lend themselves to predictions that, with more instructional time, results might have shown medium to far transfer of knowledge. These findings align with the perspective that morphology is a binding agent among orthography, semantics, and phonology, and offers many direct and indirect pathways to literacy development (Levesque et al., 2020).
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/28964
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