Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

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

Anisa Goforth, Amy Glaspey


RTI, progress monitoring, vocabulary instruction, error pattern analysis, contextual analysis, lexical inferencing


University of Montana


Current progress monitoring tools do not specifically address vocabulary knowledge which is essential for academic success. The purpose of the current study was to analyze third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students’ correct and incorrect responses to determine incremental progress in vocabulary knowledge and to more specifically examine how students used contextual cues to infer the meaning of unknown words. Thus, the current study examined (1) students’ abilities to infer the correct meanings of unknown words based on contextual information in reading passages across grade levels, (2) the change in error patterns produced by students across the grade levels, and (3) the impact of six weeks of instruction in word learning strategies on students’ correct and phonemic error responses. Additionally, teachers’ knowledge of effective vocabulary instruction strategies was examined (4). Initial results have indicated that students show a significant difference in the use of semantic and phonemic error response types across grade levels. A positive trend of correct responses across grades was also observed. An increase in correct responses and a reduction in phonemic error responses were seen as a result of instruction in word learning strategies; however, the results were not statistically significant. Progress is an essential outcome of intervention. Demonstrating progress by analyzing a student’s correct and incorrect responses on a progress monitoring tool would possibly show incremental progress and facilitate selection of appropriate interventions.

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