Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


spelling, reading, reading fluency, response to intervention, spelling sensitivity scores

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Progress in spelling and reading development is traditionally measured by percent words correct and various standardized reading measures. Tracking changes in progress is important for response to intervention (RTI) and No Child Left Behind (US Department of Education, 2002). The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of an experimental measure of reading fluency and an experimental metric for spelling accuracy for documenting literacy development in the early elementary grades. Participants included 12 first grade students, 13 second grade students, and 12 third grade students from a local public school on a military base in southwest Missouri. Results indicated that the experimental reading fluency test is equally sensitive to within and between grade changes as a widely used standardized test. This is an important finding because this test is shorter than the traditional measure and is based on varying linguistic complexities. The experimental spelling metric was found to be as sensitive to changes between Grades 1 and 2 as the traditional measure, Percent Words Correct. Neither spelling measure was sensitive to changes between Grades 2 and 3. Although the experimental spelling metrics was not found to be more sensitive than the traditional Percent Words Correct method, its precise method of analyzing word and element errors provides insightful information that could benefit instructors and researchers. The relationships found between all measures of spelling and reading fluency support findings that there is a strong link between the two areas, which will continue to shape literacy assessment and instruction.


© Erin Leigh Thomas

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