Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

10-21-1979

Abstract

he ability to communicate effectively in oral language precedes the ability to create and interpret language in its written form. Some research studies have shown that reading is a language based activity, but the problem is that little has been done with the knowledge of language and language competencies children bring to school, especially those children who read early or before they come to school. Insights into the ways in which children use language at various stages of their development would greatly assist teachers and parents in fostering both oral language compe­tence and the ability to read and write.

The purpose of the study was two-fold. Its first intention was to evaluate two language assessment test instruments, the Bankson Language Screening Test and the Mean Length of Utterance Index, as indicators of language abilities. The study's second concern was with the rela­tionship these abilities have to reading achievement of second-semester kindergarten boys and girls who have had no formal instruction in reading.

Hypotheses:

1. Second-semester kindergarten boys' and girls' expressive language as measured by the Bankson Language Screening Test will show a significant relationship to reading achievement test scores as measured by the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test.

2. Second-semester kindergarten boys' and girls' Mean Length of Utterance will show a significant relationship to the reading achievement test scores as measured by the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test.

3. Second-semester kindergarten boys' and girls' Mean Length of Utterance will show a significant relationship to the expressive language scores as measured by the Bankson Language Screening Test.

A level of significance of 0.05 was required for rejec­tion or acceptance of the research hypotheses. The Bankson Language Screening Test showed a significant relationship with the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, thus supporting hypothesis 1. The Mean Length of Utterance did not show a significant relationship with the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test; thus the research hypothesis 2 was rejected. There was also no significant relationship found between the Bankson Language Screening Test and the Mean Length of Utterance; thus research hypothesis 3 was rejected.

The following are the major findings of this study:

1. The readers demonstrated language abilities related to their proficiency in reading while not having any formal instruction in reading.

2. The Bankson Language Screening Test offers a moderate reliable assessment of young children's language as it relates to reading; thus this would serve as an indicator of strengths and weaknesses for setting up a program of in­struction.

3. The Mean Length of Utterance Index does not offer an assessment of young children's language as it relates to reading.

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Elementary Education

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Miles Vernon Zintz

Second Committee Member

Russell Dewey Snyder

Third Committee Member

Zelda Ruth Maggart

Fourth Committee Member

Rodney Wilson Young

Fifth Committee Member

Marlis Mann

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