Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Kyna Shelley

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Thomas Lipscomb

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Maureen K. Martin

Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 School



Phonological and morphological skills are crucial to the process of reading. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have received advanced trained in these basic foundations of language and could be an untapped resource in our school systems for teaching beginning reading skills. The purposes of this research were to examine SLPs’ and general education elementary (K-6) teachers’ attitudes toward SLPs taking part in reading instruction, to compare the differences in phonological and morphological knowledge and skill among SLPs and teachers, and to assess the performance of the Revised Basic Language Constructs Surveywhen administered to SLPs and teachers.

Results indicated that, although fewer than half of the participants said that SLPs taught beginning reading skills in their work settings, a majority of these indicated that SLPs were effective when teaching beginning reading skills. It was found that, on average, SLPs’ and teachers’ phonological and morphological knowledge was similar, with the group of SLPs correct 73.1% of the time and teachers 72.8% of the time on knowledge items. When phonological and morphological skill was measured, SLPs were correct 80.2% of the time and teachers were correct 69.6% of the time. It should be noted that, in both groups, a level of correct responses of 90% or more was achieved on fewer than half of the knowledge and skill items. These results indicated that additional training was needed in both knowledge and skill for SLPs and teachers.

Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed that the Revised Basic Language Constructs Survey provided a valid measure of phonological and morphological knowledge and skill for SLPs and teachers. Invariance testing indicated the model had a moderate fit to the data. It was found that the scale performed differently for the two groups, SLPs and teachers, on only two skill items.