Systematic and Direct Instruction on Alphabetic Principle and Phonemic Awareness : Improving Letter Naming Fluency and Letter Sound Acquisition for Students with Learning Disabilities

Date of Award

Winter 12-19-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


PRESS, phonemic awareness, letter sound acquisition, learning disabilities



The purpose of this study was to determine whether daily, direct instruction on phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle would improve letter naming fluency and letter sound acquisition scores of students who have been identified with a specific learning disability in reading. Participants were 10, first and second grade students with varying disabilities, who struggle with reading, throughout the course of four weeks. Participants were all included from a special education resource room based on previously collected baseline data from the Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) Phonemic Awareness Inventory, FastBridge online, 1-minute timed progress monitoring probes for Letter Sound Fluency and Letter Recognition, and a teacher made alphabet checklist (letter names and letter sounds) given on April 19th, April 26th, and May 3rd, 2019. The 10 students included, were already meeting in small groups of three to four students for thirty minutes per day. The participants continued to meet in their same small groups for the duration of this study. After four weeks, data on individual students’ letter sound fluency assessments, letter recognition assessments, and teacher made alphabet checklists were analyzed. Based on the results of this study, providing daily, direct instruction on phonemic awareness and alphabetic principle positively impacted letter naming fluency scores and letter sound acquisition scores. 100% of participants increased both letter naming fluency and letter sound acquisition scores.

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