Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Speech-Language Pathology

Department or School/College

Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Ginger Collins

Commitee Members

Catherine Off, Lindsey Nichols


language, literacy, intervention, adolescent, brief, intensive


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Speech Pathology and Audiology


The current service delivery model most frequently used in a school setting involves short, infrequent sessions over a 180-day school year. To date, there is no research that supports the current service delivery model as being the most effective and efficient model of intervention. As students transition from elementary to middle school, this model is particularly problematic for the adolescent student because of a rotating school schedule, increasing language demands of the academic curriculum, and development of self-perception and academic self-concept. A brief but intensive language-literacy intervention that takes place outside of the school year may be an effective and efficient alternative to adolescents who struggle with written language. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an adolescent who participates in a two-week intensive language-literacy intervention program would make significant gains in written narrative composition, complexity and accuracy of sentence composition, and encoding/decoding skills. Additionally, the investigator wished to determine whether or not an adolescent would demonstrate an increase in self-perception of literacy skills following participation in the aforementioned program. A multiple-baseline design across behaviors was used to examine written narratives collected from the adolescent during each session. There were four phases in this experiment: Baseline Phase - baseline data were collected; Phase A- intervention focused on discourse level literacy skills; Phase B- intervention focused on sentence level and discourse level skills; and Phase C- intervention focused on word/morpheme level, sentence level, and discourse level skills. In addition, pre and post test data were collected to examine word, sentence, and discourse level writing skills as well as self-perception of literacy skills. Preliminary results suggest a brief but intensive intervention did result in significant gains in language-literacy skills and self-perception of literacy skills. Further investigation is needed to determine if a gains can be generalized into the academic setting. Future studies in which the intensity of the intervention is manipulated (e.g. three weeks instead of two, a cycles approach addressing various aspects of language, etc.) could provide even stronger evidence for intervention programs of varied intensity.



© Copyright 2016 Minako I. May