Effects of Specific Strategy Training on the Written Expression of Learning Disabled Students Grades 3-6
The problem. Learning disabled students acquire or use written language skills less efficiently than nondisabled students. Specific interventions are needed to facilitate written language acquisition for the learning disabled. Procedure. Eighteen learning disabled students in grades three through six were involved in a study to investigate the effects of specific strategy training on their written language skills. A three-group planned-match design was employed to determine the possible effects of strategy training under the contrasting conditions of teacher direction and self-direction. The standard intervention group served as the control group and did not receive strateqy training. The teacher-directed group was involved in strateqy training and was monitored during strategy use by the teacher. The self-directed group received strategy training as well as guidelines to selfmonitor strategy use. The purpose of this group was to determine if learning disabled students could employ the metacognitive skills of self-questions and self-statements to guide strategy use and to determine if there was a difference between teacher directed and self-directed strateqy use. Findings. Pre and post tests were administered and immediate gain factors were reported based on the "Test of Written Language (TOWL)" total and subtest scores. Anecdotal observations of writing behaviors were also collected. Students who were trained in writing strategies performed better in general on the TOWL than students who were not trained in strategy use. Students who learned to monitor their own strategy use showed greater gains than students whose strategy use was monitored by the teacher. Recommendations. The application of cognitive strategies to academic areas is viable focus for continued study.
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