Title

Effects of talking storybooks on word recognition skills and control beliefs of young students with learning disabilities: An exploratory study

Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Leadership

Advisor(s)

Donald J. Leu

Keywords

Talking storybooks, Word recognition, Control beliefs, Learning disabilities, Electronic books

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Education | Reading and Language

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of talking storybooks on word recognition and control beliefs in students with learning disabilities. Five 10-year-old boys with learning disabilities participated in a 13-session tutorial reading intervention consisting of several initial sessions devoted to guided reading of traditional print storybooks, followed by sessions devoted to independent reading of talking storybooks.

The study used a combination single-subject (Neuman & McCormick, 2000) and case-study (Yin, 1994) design. The independent variable in this study consisted of two types of reading conditions: guided reading of traditional print storybooks and independent reading of talking storybooks. Dependent variables consisted of word recognition and control beliefs. General measures of the dependent variables were administered as pretests, as midtests between reading conditions, and as posttests. Story-based word recognition measures were administered with each story. Running logs of participants' reading behaviors were maintained and analyzed relative to test performance.

Results highlight the benefits of reading practice with feedback and the critical role of individual variability in the benefits of talking storybooks. After independent reading of talking storybooks, all participants made some word recognition gains, albeit some gains were very small. Only 1 participant made a substantial gain in control beliefs after independent reading of talking storybooks, and he also made substantial concomitant gains in word recognition. All participants expressed positive responses to talking storybooks and, when given a choice, chose independent reading of talking storybooks rather than guided reading of traditional print storybooks. Overall analysis revealed that the benefits of talking storybooks are mediated by individual differences among the participants and how they used talking storybooks.

It is important to note that gains made after independent reading of talking storybooks were not necessarily greater than gains made after guided reading of traditional print storybooks. However, these results are seen as positive because the purpose of this study was not to determine if one condition was better than the other, but rather to determine if talking storybooks could serve as a beneficial means of engaging students with learning disabilities in fundamental reading practice.

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