The use of the Lexia Phonics computer software program for children in kindergarten and first grade
Debra Ann Kutz, Widener University, United States
Widener University . Awarded
In an ever changing world, educators need to continuously reach into their repertoire and pull out ideas, imaginative methods, and creative activities while maintaining research based practices that have been seen to be effective in teaching children to read successfully. A variety of teaching techniques and strategies are utilized daily by teachers to allow each child an opportunity to achieve success. Children enter school each day with diverse experiences, beliefs, and knowledge. Teachers are accountable for each student's learning regardless of extraneous influences out of their immediate control.
Computer technology as a resource in teaching students to read in conjunction with a balanced literacy program has been demonstrated to be an effective and motivating method in increasing phonological and phonemic awareness skills in children. It has also been shown to be an appropriate teaching tool for a diverse student population, including regular education students, Title I reading students, special needs learners, and at-risk learners.
Kindergarten and first grade students in a suburban school district in southeastern Pennsylvania were exposed to two thirty minute sessions of Lexia Phonics computer software program per week for a total of twelve weeks. Three treatment groups and three control groups per grade level were established. A pretest and posttest design, incorporating the utilization of DIBELS as a standardized test, was conducted to establish whether an increase in reading ability has occurred as a result of the treatment. T-tests, an ANOVA and a MANOVA were employed to examine the results of this study to determine if any significant effect may have occurred as a result of a computer-assisted instructional reading program. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of computer-assisted reading programs on a diverse population of students, which includes regular education students, Title I reading students, and learning support students.
According to the quantitative results of this study Lexia Phonics CAI demonstrated no significant outcome for kindergarten students in Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) or Initial Sound Fluency (ISF). Lexia Phonics computer-assisted instruction (CAI) was found to be beneficial for kindergarten Title I students. The qualitative results revealed that all kindergarten teachers felt Lexia Phonics aligned with the Houghton Mifflin reading program. Two out of three kindergarten teachers stated their classroom instruction was just as beneficial or more beneficial for students than exposure to the Lexia Phonics CAI. According to the kindergarten student survey, a majority of the students felt Lexia Phonics did help them to learn reading skills and indicated they enjoyed using the computer program.
Furthermore, the quantitative results found a significant outcome for first grade students in Phonemic Sound Fluency (PSF). No significant results were found related to Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF), type of student (regular education student, Title I student and/or learning support student) or specific group (control group or treatment group) of children. The qualitative results found all first grade teachers felt Lexia Phonics highly aligned with the Houghton Mifflin reading program. These teachers also felt Lexia Phonics was a motivational and productive instructional tool to use in concert with the Houghton Mifflin reading program. The first grade teachers agreed that Lexia Phonics would be more motivational if it provided more game-like activities to practice reading skills. According to the first grade student survey, the majority of the students felt Lexia Phonics did help them to learn reading skills.
Kutz, D.A. The use of the Lexia Phonics computer software program for children in kindergarten and first grade. Ph.D. thesis, Widener University.
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