Spring 2018

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Students with learning disabilities (LDs) generally perform well below grade level on national reading achievement assessments. Many students with LDs struggle in secondary settings due to challenges with reading, specifically their ability to decode text. Although researchers agree on the need to focus on word reading strategies for middle school students with LDs, there is not a consensus on the best method of intervention to improve reading achievement. Remedial instruction is needed to address phonics skills which are a focus of instruction in System 44® curriculum. The degree to which System 44® curriculum can improve decoding abilities for students with LDs is equivocal lacking peer-reviewed research. This study sought to address the gap in literature by providing System 44® small group lessons to six participants with LDs in the sixth grade. To determine if this intervention had a positive effect on decoding abilities, a single case AB design was used to evaluate a small group’s accurate decoding of DIBLES® 3rd grade Oral Reading Fluency passages during baseline and intervention phases. Results did not indicate a functional relationship between intervention and accuracy in this study. This outcome demonstrates the continued need to find effective research backed phonics interventions for middle school students with LDs.