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Making Retarded Children Literate: A Five Year Study

Booth, A.; Hewitt, D.; Jenkins, W.; Maggs, A.
This longitudinal study examined the effects of the DISTAR Language and Reading programs on students with learning disabilities. Thirty three students from the Kurrambee Public School participated in the study. At the beginning of the study their ages ranged from eight to fourteen years. The DISTAR mastery tests in language and reading were administered throughout the year and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test was administered at the end of each school year. Additional testing conducted at various times during the study included the Baldie Language Ability Test, the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, and the Schonell Word Recognition Test. Results indicated that students who completed all levels of the DISTAR Reading and language programs demonstrated mastery of the majority of the basic literacy skills, exceeding expectations for students with learning disabilities. Following about 32 months of daily instruction with the DISTAR Language and Reading programs, most of the children in the study performed better than students without learning disabilities. The authors concluded these students substantially benefitted from the Direct Instruction programs and the results in this study supports previous research that students labeled as “retarded” can achieve academic skills not thought to be obtainable previously. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Direct Instruction; DISTAR; language; reading
The Australian Journal of Mental Retardation
Design type:
Pretest-posttest gain score
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Mentally retarded students
Other tags:
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Distar Mastery test in language and reading, The Baldie Language Ability Test, Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, Schonell Word Recognition Test
Kurrambee Public School, Australia

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