Utility of Phonic Generalizations in the 1980 Series R Macmillan First Grade Reader


Mary Jo Allen

Date of Graduation

Spring 1983


Master of Science in Education in Literacy


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

James Layton


The purpose of this study was to determine the utility of Spache and Spache's phonic generalizations when applied to the vocabulary of Rainbow World, the first reader of the SERIES r Macmillan Reading Program. The components of the study included the reader, the phonic generalizations, the words appearing in the reader, the Webster's School Dictionary, a computer program for finding word frequencies, and two formulas for computation of utility of phonic generalizations. The criterion for usefulness of a phonic generalization was a percent of utility of at least 75. A computer was used to determine the words which appear in Rainbow World and the frequencies of each word. The words from Rainbow World to which the phonic generalizations could be applied were classified under the phonic generalizations which could be applied to them. Phonetic respellings from the Webster's School Dictionary were used to classify the words under each phonic generalization as conforming words or exceptions. The utilities of each phonic generalization were computed by the two formulas of utility. Thirteen of the phonic generalizations were found to have 75 percent utility or above by both formulas of determining utility of phonic generalizations. Three of the phonic generalizations had both, parts which were useful and parts which were not useful. Three phonic generalizations were determined to be not useful by either method of computation of utility.

Subject Categories

Other Education


© Mary Jo Allen