UBC Theses and Dissertations
The effect of story grammar instruction on recall, achievement and comprehension of grade two children Melnyk, Mary Jo
This study was designed to test the effect of story grammar instruction on the unprompted recall, prompted recall, reading achievement, and comprehension of 165 Grade 2 students in 9 different classes within the Catholic School System. Classes were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: story grammar instruction (based on story structure) modified reading instruction (researcher designed) or regular reading instruction (classroom teacher's method). Pretests for vocabulary, recall and reading achievement were administered and data were collected on age, sex, socioeconomic status and language skills. Reading programs, including ability groupings, reading material, word skills and vocabulary instruction were altered as little as possible in an attempt to preserve usual classroom routines. Researcher designed seatwork activities were given to the story grammar and modified reading groups to help the researcher monitor the story grammar method and maintain the equality of researcher intervention between story grammar and modified reading. The study continued for eleven weeks. Analysis of covariance, used to test the effect of method, class (nested within method) and sex showed no significant effects for any posttest due to method. However, for the Unprompted Recall test, girls scored significantly higher than boys. Further analyses of covariance, testing the effect of method, class (nested within method) and ability, again indicated no significant main effects for method. However, ability was significant in each posttest with good readers scoring higher than poor readers. In addition, method interacted with ability for the Prompted Recall Detail posttest, indicating that poor readers receiving story grammar instruction scored significantly lower than good readers in any of the three methods. In contrast, poor readers receiving modified or regular reading did not have a score signficantly different from good readers. Method again interacted with ability for the Achievement posttest. Poor readers receiving either story grammar or modified reading instruction scored significantly lower than good readers in any of the three methods. In contrast, poor readers receiving regular reading did not have a score significantly different from good readers. These results differ from those found in previous studies and therefore cannot provide support for story grammar instruction with Grade 2 students. This study concludes with a discussion of the variables within the study design which may have adversely affected the results. Recommendations for refinements in study design to control for these factors are made.