Effects of an Integrated Format for Reading Instruction On the Comprehension and Word-Recognition Performance of Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Students Who Exhibit Severe Reading Problems

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Dana G. Thames

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an integrated language arts format for reading instruction on the comprehension and word-recognition performance of fourth- and fifth-grade students who were identified as having severe reading problems. The subjects were randomly selected from a specific population those students who were identified as reading one to two years below grade level by their Total Normal Curve Equivalent Scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills) within the fourth- and fifth-grades in a public school in a small town in the southern region of the United States. The subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group received one-on-one instruction, twice weekly for 50 minutes using an integrated language arts format which was presented by preservice teachers during their last semester of teacher education course work. The control group received traditional reading instruction (i.e., a format typical of the directed-reading approach found in the basal reader) which was presented by their regular classroom teachers. Data were collected prior to and following a ten-week period of instruction and were analyzed using analysis of covariance procedures. The preservice teachers administered the Slosson Oral Reading Test (SORT) and the Analytical Reading Inventory (ARI) as pre- and posttests to the students in both the experimental and control groups. Analysis of the data revealed that an integrated language arts format for reading instruction was effective in increasing comprehension of both narrative and expository text; however, word recognition was not significantly effected by the experimental treatment. A relation between the Dyslexia Screening Instrument (DSI) and word-recognition performance was found; however, no significant relation was found between the DSI and reading comprehension performance.