The Effectiveness of a Combined Word Study and Reading Curriculum with ESL and NonESL First Graders
AdvisorBear, Donald R.
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This study examined the effectiveness of a combined reading curriculum (CRC). The CRC is a combination of Words Their Way: Word sorts for letter name-alphabet spellers (Bear, Invernizzi, & Johnston, 2004) and Sort Stories (Zugel, 2006). Words Their Way is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary word study curriculum. Sort Stories is a developmental reading skills curriculum designed to supplement Words Their Way that uses stories to create a contextual format for the spelling, phonics, and vocabulary word lists. The CRC is described as a developmental, systematic, comprehensive program designed to teach the essential reading components of phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Spelling and Reading assessment scores were examined for 88 first graders. Forty-four students, 22 ESL and 22 NonESL, were selected from the treatment school and received instruction using the CRC. Forty-four students, 22 ESL and 22 NonESL, were selected from the comparison school and did not receive instruction using the CRC. Results indicated that both ESL and NonESL students instructed using the CRC made significant gains in spelling and reading scores. An examination of the differences between mean change scores for the treatment and comparison groups indicated that the reading gains made by students who received instruction using the CRC were significantly greater than those who did not, for both ESL and NonESL students. Results suggest the effectiveness of the CRC and its use for student achievement.