Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

Learning and Instruction

First Advisor

Patricia L Busk

Second Advisor

Yvonne N Bui

Third Advisor

Stephen Cary

Abstract

This study, using a repeated measures design with alternating treatments, measured the effectiveness of traditional instruction, the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy, the semantic-mapping strategy, and a combination of these strategies on the reading comprehension skills of 11 English learners (ELs) with learning disabilities and 8 fully English-proficient students (FEPs) with learning disabilities (LD) in two high-school, mild-to-moderate, special-day, English classes. The students were taught each of these strategies for 540 minutes in 9 days of instruction. The same teacher taught all three strategies to both classes. Data were gathered from the IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test, alternate forms of the Comprehension subtest of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, and a reading strategies steps quiz.

After traditional instruction, all of the groups made gains in reading, although not statistically significant. The ELs with LD in Class 1 made strong reading gains following the first intervention (the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy), whereas the FEPs with LD in Class 2 made statistically significant reading gains following the first intervention (the semantic-mapping strategy). The ELs with LD in both classes and the FEPs with LD in Class 2 made statistically significant gains in reading after the second intervention, whereas the FEPs with LD in Class 1 made strong gains. Following the interventions, the ELs with LD remembered a higher percentage of the steps of the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy, whereas the FEPs with LD remembered a higher percentage of the steps of the semantic-mapping strategy. Each of the steps of the RAP Paraphrasing and semantic-mapping strategies were remembered by a majority of the students.

It can be concluded that secondary-level ELs with LD may more easily remember the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy and benefit more from this strategy following traditional instruction than the semantic-mapping strategy following traditional instruction. In addition, secondary-level FEPs with LD may more easily remember the semantic-mapping strategy and may benefit more from this strategy following traditional instruction than the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy following traditional instruction. Finally, secondary-level ELs with LD and FEPs with LD make the highest reading gains when taught all three strategies (traditional instruction, the RAP Paraphrasing Strategy, and the semantic-mapping strategy).

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