CD Vocabulary Instruction for Students with Disabilities

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purposes of these Phase I and II projects are to test the feasibility and efficacy of using an interactive multimedia (IM) format for providing comprehensive vocabulary instruction to students with high incidence disabilities (HID). To evaluate the feasibility of this type of instruction software programs will be designed to teach common prefixes, suffixes, and words parts;two research-validated vocabulary learning strategies;and provide multiple opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of word parts and use of learned strategies to high frequency academic vocabulary. Validated instructional principles such as detailed description and multiple levels of practice with feedback will be embedded into each segment of the programs. Segments will include an overview of the strategy, rationale for learning and purpose of using the strategy, detailed descriptions of each steps, video clips of students using the strategy in real testing situations, practice activities, and checks for understanding. To test the efficacy of the programs, revisions to each program will be made based on findings of the feasibility studies. Once revisions are completed, full-blown field tests for each IM program will be completed with approximately 120 middle and high school students with HID. The feasibility and validation studies will focus on (a) usability of the program, (b) student knowledge of the content and skills, (c) student use of the content and skills, (d) social validity of the program, and (e) social validity of the model. This project is relevant to public health because the number of individuals with low literacy skills is substantial. Particularly, many students with high incidence disabilities struggle with various aspects of reading and literacy-related skills. A large number of these students will either drop-out of school or continue to struggle throughout their school careers and into adulthood. Low literacy has been associated with such poor adult outcomes as under- and unemployment, increased criminal activity, and poverty. The empirically validated IM products that will result from this project will address the potentially devastating effects that low literacy can cause in children's lives and in society at large. Since vocabulary development is seen as a bridge between emerging reading skills and comprehension, this project has the potential to help many students expand their literacy skills. The instruction would be used to help them learn common words parts, independently remember meanings of new words, and expand their use of new words, and apply their skills to hundreds of new high-frequency, high-utility words. The instructional programs that will result from this project will be usable as literacy intervention programs based on individual needs. In addition, the proposed programs will serve as a model for the development of future IM programs for individuals with high incidence disabilities.
Effective start/end date09/1/0608/31/11


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $249,997.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $249,997.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $250,000.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $100,000.00


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