A Comparative Analysis of Two Decoding Methods On the Acquisition and Maintenance of Sight Words By Secondary Students With Learning Disabilities

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Sheila Alber

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education


The widely held belief that phonics instruction should be completed by the end of the second grade is partly responsible for students getting so little help developing the decoding strategies necessary to unlock the pronunciation and meanings for those 10,000 new words they encounter each year (Cunningham, 1998). Add to this the 7-15% of the school population identified as having specific learning disabilities in reading due primarily to a lack of phonological awareness (Adams & Bruck, 1993) and a crisis in education exists. Finding appropriate methods for teaching secondary students with learning disabilities to decode new words and improve sight words was the purpose of this study. A comparative analysis of two methods for teaching decoding skills to this population and their effect on sight word acquisition was examined. A computer software reading-decoding program was compared to a videotape version of a remedial reading-decoding program.