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Readings and Resources About Reading Instruction for Young Children
with Learning Disabilities
The Eric Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
ERIC EC Minibib EB12
Updated May 2003
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in
microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC
Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be
ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS):
http://edrs.com/, email@example.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC.
Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a
fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library),
through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services such as:
Infotrieve: 800.422.4633, www4.infotrieve.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; or ingenta: 800.296.2221, www.ingenta.com, email@example.com.
Allington, R. L., Editor. (1998). Teaching Struggling Readers: Articles from "The Reading Teacher." International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Road, PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139. http://www.reading.org. 320pp.
Published in "The Reading Teacher" over the past ten years, the 32 articles in this book present many examples of effective environments and classroom techniques for teaching reading. It addresses a range of issues to help teachers redefine professional beliefs about teaching reading and helping learning disabled children to develop the skills they need.
Bakken, J. P .and Whedon, C. K. (2002). Teaching Text Structure To Improve Reading Comprehension. Intervention in School and Clinic, 37(4), 229-233.
This article discusses how to teach children with mild disabilities to identify the five different types of expository text structures: main idea, list, order, compare/contrast, and classification. It then explains a strategy for each text structure type that can be taught to children to improve comprehension in content area classes.
Baumer, B. H. (1996). How To Teach Your Dyslexic Child To Read: A Proven Method for Parents and Teachers. Birch Lane Press, Carol Publishing Group, 120 Enterprise Avenue, Secaucus, NJ 07094. 163pp.
Designed for parents and teachers of students with dyslexia, this book uses accessible terms, charts, graphics, and lesson plans to provide step-by-step instructions for teaching reading. Part 1 of the book discusses different types of learning disabilities, followed by case studies that illustrate how children overcame each particular disability. Part 2 describes how a child with dyslexia should be taught from kindergarten through the third grade. It also gives detailed instructions for teaching phonics, spelling, and syllabication. Part 3 contains the pictures, charts, and wordlists that are an integral part of tutoring the child. Word charts are for practice in recognizing and pronouncing phonics sounds, and syllable sheets are for practice in dividing words into syllables and learning how to spell them. The book addresses how to discover the child's learning pace, how to lengthen a child's short attention span, how much drill and review are necessary once a phonics concept has been introduced, and how to teach vocabulary words. An appendix includes publishers' names and addresses.
Chard, D. J. and Osborn, J. (1999). Phonics and Word Recognition Instruction in Early Reading Programs: Guidelines for Accessibility. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 14(2), 107-117.
Examines the content and instructional plans for phonics and word recognition to be used with children with reading disabilities. Information is provided about the content of effective word-recognition instruction. Guidelines are included on other aspects of reading instruction that are central to accessible classroom programs.
Cunningham. P. M., & Allington, R. L. (1991). Words, letters, sounds, and big books: A beary good approach. Learning, 20(2), 91-92, 94-95.
Describes how primary teachers can use decoding strategies within a literature-based, whole-language setting. A three-stage approach involves the book stage (real reading), the word stage (learning words), and the letter-sound stage (learning sounds). The article provides sample activities.
Douville, P. (2000). Tips for Teaching: Helping Parents Develop Literacy at Home. Preventing School Failure, 44(4), 179-180.
This article discusses how parents can use the Language Experience Approach and Scaffolded Writing in the home environment to teach their children literacy skills and to prevent school failure. The benefits of parent involvement in influencing the quality and quantity of a child's literacy experiences is stressed.
Foster, K. C. (1994). Computer administered instruction in phonological awareness: Evaluation of the DaisyQuest program. Journal of Research & Development in Education, 27(2), 26-37.
DaisyQuest is a computer program that teaches and provides practice in synthetic and analytic phonological skills. Researchers found young children trained on DaisyQuest had significantly greater phonological awareness gains than children without training. Children trained on a more developed version significantly outperformed a matched group on three phonological awareness measures.
Gould, T. S., & Stern, M. (1994). 30+ Games to get ready to read: Teaching kids at home and in school. Walker & Company, 435 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014. 171pp.
Intended for use with youngsters eager to begin reading as well as reluctant starters, this book is filled with time-tested, entertaining, and simple games that build on children's curiosity and sense of fun to teach reading skills. This book contains a brief introduction outlining the methods and goals of the reading games and instructions on how to play over 30 games. Games are based on proved favorites such as "Go Fish," "Bingo," "Lotto," and "Concentration."
Hagood, B. F. Reading and Writing with Help from Story Grammar. (1997). TEACHING Exceptional Children, 29(4), 10-14.
Discusses "story grammar" strategies, such as self-questioning, story maps, character and plot development, and comparison and contrast of similar stories, which can be used to help elementary students with learning disabilities or low-achieving students improve their reading and writing skills. Activities are described for each strategy.
James, G. and Milligan, J. L. (1995). Holistic Instructional Activities for Students with Learning Disabilities. LD Forum, 20(2), 25-27.
Fourteen holistic, meaning-based reading and writing activities appropriate for students with learning disabilities are described, along with the theoretical background of the paradigm. As children experiment, approximate, and discover language naturally and socially, their immersion in authentic spoken and written language facilitates learning to speak, read, and write.
Jenkins, J. and O'Connor, R. (2001). Early Identification and Intervention for Young Children with Reading/Learning Disabilities. Executive Summary. Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC. http://www.air.org/ldsummit/.
This executive summary discusses our current understanding of the difficulties that children with reading/learning disabilities encounter as they start down the road to reading and summarizes research on early identification and intervention. The focus is on children in kindergarten through second grade. Findings from the analysis indicate: (1) the less efficient word reading of students with reading disabilities (RD) overloads working memory and undermines reading comprehension; (2) early identification of children most likely to encounter reading problems may constitute the first step in reducing incidence and severity of reading disabilities; (3) individual differences in prereaders' phonological awareness are among the best predictors of later reading success; (4) targeted phonemic awareness instruction with prereading children leads to significant gains in phonological awareness and in word-level reading skills; (5) when both phonetic awareness and decoding instruction are incorporated into a reading program, participants outperform students who received either alone; (6) more explicit approaches to teaching phonics lead to more positive decoding outcomes; (7) wide reading is essential for developing fluency, but students must become expert decoders before they can read widely; and (8) the level of reading accuracy necessary for a student to benefit from direct instruction ranges from 90 to 95 percent.
Jenkins, R. (1994). Facilitating development of preliterate children's phonological abilities. Topics in Language Disorders, 14(2), 26-39.
This article from a theme issue examines the relationships between emergent literacy skills and phonological awareness in preliterate children. A developmental model for facilitating literacy development is presented. Suggestions for enhancing metaphonological skills and a checklist for the early identification of young at-risk children are offered.
Joseph, L. M. (2002). Helping Children Link Sound to Print: Phonics Procedures for Small-Group or Whole-Class Settings. Intervention in School and Clinic, 37(4), 217-221.
Word boxes and word sorts are two phonic approaches that help children make connections between sound and print by gaining an awareness of the phonological and orthographic features of words. This article provides step-by-step procedures for using these approaches in small-group and whole-class settings. The use of peer tutors is discussed.
Kaderavek, J. N. and Justice, L. (2000). Children with LD as Emergent Readers: Bridging the Gap to Conventional Reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(2), 82-93.
This article provides an overview of how an emergent literacy perspective may serve as a framework for better understanding the reading and writing behaviors of young children with learning disabilities. Specific intervention techniques are given to help teachers provide rich, meaningful emergent literacy opportunities in the classroom.
Keefe, C. H. (1996). Label-Free Learning: Supporting Learners with Disabilities. Stenhouse Publishers, 226 York Street, York, ME 03909. 180pp.
This book explains the whole language philosophy of learning to read and how it can be applied in special education classrooms to assist students with learning disabilities. Chapters address: (1) an overview of the whole language approach; (2) examples of how special education teachers use whole language to teach children with learning disabilities; (3) suggestions on how to create a child-centered classroom; (4) the role of the teacher in a whole language classroom; (5) examples of democratic classrooms; (6) assessment procedures that are compatible with a whole language philosophy and how assessment data can be used to respond to individual needs; (7) examples of different strategies teachers use to teach students with learning disabilities reading and writing; (8) literacy development in students with disabilities and how to foster self-directed learners; (9) how teachers develop learner-centered curriculums and how to move toward an inclusive environment; and (10) one teacher's move to the whole language approach. An appendix includes a summary of selected research.
Love, H. D., & Litton, F. W. (1994). Teaching reading to disabled and handicapped learners. Charles C. Thomas, 2600 S. 1st St., Springfield, IL 62794-9265. 252pp.
This book addresses issues surrounding the teaching of reading skills to students who have been diagnosed as having one or more disabilities that affect their learning processes. Various conditions teachers might encounter in students are described, and their impact on reading skills is discussed. Methods of assessing a student's reading readiness are then discussed, followed by a survey of developmental reading methods and materials, including the VAKT approach, Corrective Reading, the Rebus Reading Program, Distar, Edmark, Orton-Gillingham and Cloze. and other methods.
Lovett, M. W., Lacerenza, L., & Borden, S. L. Putting Struggling Readers on the PHAST Track: A Program To Integrate Phonological and Strategy-based Remedial Reading Instruction and Maximize Outcomes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(5), 458-476.
This article describes PHAST (for Phonological and Strategy Training), a research-based remedial reading program that focuses on the primary obstacles to word identification learning and independent decoding that most students with reading disabilities face and the steps necessary to help these children achieve independent reading skills.
Mason, J. M. et al. (1992). Toward an integrated model of early reading development. Technical Report No. 566. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED350595.
A longitudinal study examined the contributions of early language ability, home characteristics, and merging knowledge about literacy to children's later decoding and comprehension ability. The study followed 127 children from the beginning of kindergarten to the end of grade 3 (when 83 were left). Subjects attended schools in a small, rural, midwestern town or a low-income area of a small midwestern city. Results indicated that: (1) individual differences in decoding ability have little effect on children's reading comprehension, and vice versa; (2) early language understanding predicts reading comprehension; (3) emerging knowledge about reading predicts subsequent decoding ability; (4) children's early interest in and involvement in literacy predicts gains in reading and (5) home problems had a negative prediction on reading. Findings suggest support for integrating cognitive processing models, developmental models, and social constructivist models.
O'Connor, R. E. (1993). Teaching phonological awareness to young children with learning disabilities. Exceptional Children, 59(6), 532-46pp.
Forty-seven children (ages 4-6) with language impairments were assigned to receive training in one of three categories of phonological tasks (rhyming, blending, and segmenting) or a control group. Subjects made significant progress in each experimental category, but demonstrated little or no generalization within a category or between categories.
Palardy, J. M. (1991). Four "teachable" reading readiness skills. Reading Improvement, 28(1), 57-60pp.
Reviews selected instructional procedures in the four reading readiness skills that can be taught and learned: auditory discrimination, auditory comprehension, visual discrimination, and visual memory. Stresses that readiness skills are requisite to reading skills.
Palincsar, A. S., & Klenk, L. (1992). Fostering literacy learning in supportive contexts. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25(4), 211-25pp.
This paper focuses on enhancement of literacy skills of young children with learning disabilities, through intentional learning, reciprocal teaching, and redefining the contexts of early literacy learning. Research results show that children benefit from strategy instruction occurring within classroom cultures that support collaborative discourse, flexible application of comprehension strategies, and meaningful literacy opportunities.
Pressley, M., & Rankin, J. (1994). More about whole language methods of reading instruction for students at risk for early reading failure. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 9(3), 157-68.
This literature review contends that whole-language approaches to reading are not well supported by scientific analyses of reading and reading instruction. The paper argues that whole language is not the preferred approach of outstanding primary and special education teachers, who favor instruction that balances decoding instruction and development of meaning-making competencies.
Reutzel, D. R., & Fawson, P. (1991). Literature webbing predictable books: A prediction strategy that helps below-average, first-grade readers. Reading Research and Instruction, 30(4), 20-30pp.
Examines the effect of using a literature webbing strategy lesson and predictable books with 22 below-average first-grade readers. This article finds that the literature webbing strategy lesson was significantly more helpful in improving below-average readers' comprehension as measured by miscues in oral reading and answers to comprehension questions than was a directed listening/reading thinking approach.
Sawyer, D.J. & Butler, K. (1991). Early language intervention: A deterrent to reading disability. Annals of Dyslexia, 41, 55-79.
This paper discusses five language roots of reading: phonology, syntax, semantics, short-term and long-term memory, and auditory segmenting. Teachers are urged to focus early school experiences toward development of these five skills to reduce the incidence or reading difficulties. Specific teaching suggestions are offered.
Sears, S., & Keogh, B. (1993). Predicting reading performance using the Slingerland Procedures. Annals of Dyslexia, 43, 78-89pp.
Longitudinal data from 104 children administered the Slingerland Procedures in kindergarten and achievement tests in later grades found significant relationships between Slingerland measures and reading outcomes, with prediction varying across grades and according to the reading measure used. Listening contributed to reading comprehension but not to word recognition, and visual skills influenced early reading performance.
Sheffield, B. B. (1991). The structured flexibility of Orton-Gillingham. Annals of Dyslexia, 41, 41-54.
This paper discusses a philosophic basis for Orton-Gillingham teaching and demonstrates how features such as multisensory teaching can remediate language problems exhibited by many dyslexic students. Commonalities and differences among the Orton and Gillingham variations are examined.
Thompson, K. L., & Taymans, J. M. (1994). Development of a reading strategies program: Bridging the gaps among decoding, literature, and thinking skills. Intervention in School and Clinic, 30(1), 17-27.
This article describes the Reading Strategies Program, which teaches decoding skills to primary-level students with learning disabilities with a methodology intended to teach children to apply the skills to literature. Cognitive strategies also are used to apply comprehension skills to the material and to write about the material read.
Torgesen, J.K. and Barker, T.A. Computers as Aids in the Prevention and Remediation of Reading Disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 18(2), 76-87.
This article provides examples of ways computer-assisted instruction can help children with learning disabilities (LD) learn to read more effectively. Computer programs providing training in phonological awareness, specific context-free word identification skills, and reading of connected text are described, and preliminary evidence of their instructional effectiveness is presented.
Vogel, S. A. (1992). Educational alternatives for students with learning disabilities. Springer-Verlag, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010. 228pp.
This collection of papers was written to address two purposes: (a) to provide teachers in preservice LD preparation programs with an overview of validated practices that have been proven effective for children with language learning disabilities, and (b) to provide regular education teachers preparing to enter the field or already in the classroom with knowledge about validated teaching strategies so that they can work more effectively in collaboration with an LD consultant.
Yoshimoto, R. (1997). Phonemes, Phonetics, and Phonograms: Advanced Language Structures for Students with Learning Disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 29(3). 43-48.
This article describes the Advanced Language Structures program, a language program for students in grades K-12 who are gifted or gifted/at-risk or who have dyslexia/learning disabilities. The program emphasizes prefixes, suffixes, and Latin/Greek roots to provide students with strategies for reading and spelling higher-level words and developing vocabulary. The scope and sequence of advanced language structures are illustrated.
Annals of Dyslexia. International Dyslexia Association, Chester Bldg., Suite 382, 8600 LaSalle Rd., Baltimore, MD 21204-2044. 800-222-3123.
Journal of Learning Disabilities. PRO-ED, 8700 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin, TX 78757-6897; 800-897-3202.
Learning Disabilities Research & Practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., 10 Industrial Ave., Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262; 800-926-6579. http://www.dldcec.org/ld_resources/ldrp/default.htm
Reading Teacher & Reading Research Quarterly. International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Rd., PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139; 800-336-READ
International Reading Association
800 Barksdale Rd., PO Box 8139
Newark, DE 19714-8139
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
4156 Library Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15234
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
381 Park Ave., South, Suite 1420
New York, NY 10016
International Dyslexia Association
Chester Bldg., Suite 382
8600 LaSalle Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21286-2044
Council for Learning Disabilities
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ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education