Julie Norman

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Field Experience

Superseded Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (Literacy and Language Development)

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Suzanne M. Terry, EdD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

African American children--Language; Language awareness in children; English language--Spoken English; English language--Written English


This action research studied the effects of oral and written dialect-shifting instruction on the oral and written word accuracy of African American English-speaking second graders. Participants in this study were urban African American English-speaking second graders, all of whom qualified for free or reduced lunch. The intervention consisted of explicit instruction in phoneme-grapheme matching using dialect-sensitive words with an intervention group (N = 4) while a control group (N = 4) received no outside instruction. A pre- and post-test design was used to assess miscues and self-corrections on an oral reading passage and misspellings on a writing sample and list of dialect-sensitive dictated words. Additional analyses of the miscued, self-corrected, and misspelled words were conducted to determine if any had one of eight features commonly modified in African American English. The intervention took place over four weeks, during which the researcher met with students 4 times per week for approximately 30 minutes per session. Results of the study reflected an increase in all miscues and misspellings for the intervention group, while the control group experienced a decrease in these areas. The data also showed a decrease in all self-corrections for both groups, although the decrease was greater for the intervention than control group. The researcher concluded that a larger sample size, longer implementation of the intervention, and more explicit teaching of the correlation between phoneme-grapheme matching skills and their application in oral reading and writing contexts would have resulted in increased oral and written word accuracy.


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