Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Judith J. Ivarie


In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed providing educational services for children with exceptionalities. Learning disabilities was one of those exceptionalities whose definition used a language disorder as its major criteria for the identification and classification of a specific learning disabilities. The inclusion of language disorders within its definition brought about greater interest in language and the understanding of language development, acquisition and processing and how these aspects related with academic learning, particularly with reading.

The purpose of this study was to address the issue of language processing strategies in the remediating of language deficits and to see if this remediation would have a direct effect upon language ability and/or reading comprehension. The population consisted of 18 children from rural east central Illinois whose ages ranges from 7 years, 2 months to 12 years, 10 months. Their education needs ranged from learning disabilities, educable mentally handicapped, remedial reading to tutorial help. The design of the study was pre-test/post-test control group experimental design. The two dependent variables were the reading comprehension scores and the language processing scores. The independent variable was a teacher-made language processing strategy program. The subjects were assigned to either the control or experimental group by using matched scaled scores from the reading comprehension pre-test.

The experimental subjects were exposed to the intervention for 15-minute periods for a total of sixteen days by trained university students from a special education practicum class. The control subjects were given instruction in various academic areas at the same time. At the end of the 3 week program, all subjects were post-tested in both reading comprehension and language processing and a t-test for related measures was performed using the gain scores between the pre- and post-test scores from the reading comprehension test and language processing test. Utilizing an alpha level of .05 with 8 df, no significance was found in either the reading comprehension (t=. 217) or the language processing ability (t=1.381). The results of the study indicate a need for further research in the area of language processing and its relationship with academic learning. No conclusive results were derived from this particular study.