Advertisement

Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 183–208 | Cite as

A meta-analysis of morphological interventions: effects on literacy achievement of children with literacy difficulties

  • Amanda P. Goodwin
  • Soyeon Ahn
Article

Abstract

This study synthesizes 79 standardized mean-change differences between control and treatment groups from 17 independent studies, investigating the effect of morphological interventions on literacy outcomes for students with literacy difficulties. Average total sample size ranged from 15 to 261 from a wide range of grade levels. Overall, morphological instruction showed a significant improvement on literacy achievement (\( \overline d \) = 0.33). Specifically, its effect was significant on several literacy outcomes such as phonological awareness (\( \overline d \) = 0.49), morphological awareness (\( \overline d \) = 0.40), vocabulary (\( \overline d \) = 0.40), reading comprehension (\( \overline d \) = 0.24), and spelling (\( \overline d \) = 0.20). Morphological instruction was particularly effective for children with reading, learning, or speech and language disabilities, English language learners, and struggling readers, suggesting the possibility that morphological instruction can remediate phonological processing challenges. Other moderators were also explored to explain differences in morphological intervention effects. These findings suggest students with literacy difficulties would benefit from morphological instruction.

Keywords

Learning disabilities Literacy achievement Morphological intervention Reading disabilities Reading instruction 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Maria Carlo for her guidance and review of earlier versions of this manuscript. In addition, they would like to thank the reviewers of this manuscript for their helpful feedback.

References

*Studies included in meta-analysis

  1. *Abbott, S. P., & Berninger, V. W. (1999). It's never too late to remediate: Teaching word recognition to students with reading disabilities in grades 4-7. Annals of Dyslexia, 49, 223–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, M. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anglin, J.M. (1993). Vocabulary development: A morphological analysis. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 58 (10), Serial # 238.Google Scholar
  4. *Arnbak, E., Elbro, C. (2000). The effects of morphological awareness training on the reading and spelling skills of young dyslexics. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 44(3), 229-251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, B. J. (1988). Synthesizing standardized mean-change measures. The British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 41, 257–278.Google Scholar
  6. Becker, B. J. (2000). Multivariate meta-analysis. In H. E. A. Tinsley & S. Brown (Eds.), Handbook of applied and multivariate statistics and mathematical modeling (pp. 499–525). San Diego: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. *Berninger, V., Nagy, W., Carlisle, J., et al. (2003). Effective treatment for children with dyslexia in grades 4-6: Behavioral and brain evidence. In B. Foorman (Ed.), Preventing and remediating reading difficulties: bringing science to scale (pp. 381-417). Baltimore, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
  8. *Berninger, V. W., Winn, W. D., Stock, P., Abbott, R. D., Eschen, K., Lin, S., et al. (2008). Tier 3 specialized writing instruction for students with dyslexia. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 21(1-2), 95-129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowers, P. N., Kirby, J. R., & Deacon, S. H. (2010). The effects of morphological instruction on literacy skills: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research. Google Scholar
  10. Britain, M. (1970). Inflectional performance and early reading achievement. Reading Research Quarterly, 6, 34–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlisle, J. F. (1995). Morphological awareness and early reading achievement. In L. Feldman (Ed.), Morphological aspects of language processing (pp. 131–154). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Carlisle, J. F. (1987). The use of morphological knowledge in spelling derived forms by learning-disabled and normal students. Annals of Dyslexia, 37(1), 90–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carlisle, J. F. (1988). Knowledge of derivational morphology and spelling ability in fourth, sixth, and eighth graders. Applied Psycholinguistics, 9(3), 247–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carlisle, J. F. (2000). Awareness of the structure and meaning of morphologically complex words: Impact on reading. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 12(3–4), 169–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carlisle, J. F. (2003). Morphology matters in learning to read: A commentary. Reading Psychology, 24(3–4), 291–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carlisle, J. F. (2007). Fostering morphological processing, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension. In R. K. Wagner, A. E. Muse, & K. R. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Vocabulary acquisition: Implications for reading comprehension (pp. 78–103). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Carlisle, J. F., Stone, C. A., & Katz, L. A. (2001). The effects of phonological transparency on reading derived words. Annals of Dyslexia, 51, 249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Casalis, S., Cole, P., & Sopo, D. (2004). Morphological awareness in developmental dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 54(1), 114–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Champion, A. (1997). Knowledge of suffixed words: A comparison of reading disabled and nondisabled readers. Annals of Dyslexia, 47, 29–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chomsky, N., & Halle, M. (1968). The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  21. Cooper, H. M. (1989). Synthesizing research: A guide for literature review (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Cooper, H. M. (2009). Research synthesis and meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Cooper, H. M., Hedges, L. V., & Valentine, J. C. (Eds.). (2009). The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  24. Deshler, D. D., & Hock, M. F. (2007). Adolescent literacy: Where we are, where we need to go. In M. Pressley et al. (Eds.), Shaping literacy achievement: Research we have, research we need (pp. 216–245). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  25. Edwards, V. H. (1982). Effects of improved reading of verb and noun inflectional endings on the reading comprehension of learning disabled students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University, Nashville.Google Scholar
  26. *Elbro, C., Arnbak, E. (1996). The role of morpheme recognition and morphological awareness in dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 46, 209-240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. *Fillipini, A. L. (2007). Effects of a vocabulary-added instructional intervention for at-risk English learners: Is efficient reading instruction more effective? Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara.Google Scholar
  28. Fowler, A., & Liberman, I. (1995). The role of phonology and orthography in morphological awareness. In L. Feldman (Ed.), Morphological aspects of language processing (pp. 131–154). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Glass, G. V. (1976). Primary, secondary, and meta-analysis of research. Educational Researcher, 5(10), 3–8.Google Scholar
  30. Gleser, L. J., & Olkin, I. (1994). Stochastically dependent effect sizes. In H. M. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis (pp. 301–321). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  31. *Harris, M. L. (2007). The effects of strategic morphological analysis instruction on the vocabulary performance of secondary students with and without disabilities. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas.Google Scholar
  32. Hedges, L. V., & Olkin, I. (1985). Statistical methods for meta-analysis. Orlando, FL: Academic.Google Scholar
  33. *Henry, M. K. (1987). Understanding english orthography: Assessment and instruction for decoding and spelling. Unpublished doctoral dissertations, Stanford University, Pasadena.Google Scholar
  34. *Henry, M. K. (1988). Beyond phonics: Integrated decoding and spelling instruction based on word origin and structure. Annals of Dyslexia, 38, 258-275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. *Henry, M. K. (1993). Morphological structure: Latin and greek roots and affixes as upper grade code strategies. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5(2), 227-241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Henry, M. K. (2003). Unlocking literacy: Effective decoding and spelling instruction. Baltimore, Md: Brookes Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. *Henry, M. K., Calfee, R. C., Avelar-LaSalle, R. (1989). A structural approach to decoding and spelling. In S. McCormick and J.Zutell (Eds.), Thirty eighth yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 156-163).Chicago, IL: National Reading Conference.Google Scholar
  38. Hurry, J., Nunes, T., Bryant, P., Pretzlik, U., Parker, M., Curno, T., et al. (2005). Transforming research on morphology into teacher practice. Research Papers in Education, 20(2), 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Katz, L. A., & Carlisle, J. F. (2009). Teaching students with reading difficulties to be close readers: A feasibility study. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. *Kirk, C., Gillon, G. T. (2009). Integrated morphological awareness intervention as a tool for improving literacy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 341-351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kuo, L. J., & Anderson, R. C. (2006). Morphological awareness and learning to read: A cross-language perspective. Educational Psychologist, 41, 161–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lee, J., Grigg, W., and Donahue, P. (2007).The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2007 (NCES 2007–496). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. Accessed from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2007/2007496.pdf. Accessed on May 5, 2009.
  43. *Lovett, M. W., Steinbach, K. A. (1997). The effectiveness of remedial programs for reading disabled children of different ages: Does the benefit decrease for older children? Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(3), 189-210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. *Lovett, M. W., Lacerenza, L., Borden, S. L., Frijters, J. C., Steinbach, K. A., De Palma, M. (2000). Components of effective remediation for developmental reading disabilities: Combining phonological and strategy-based instruction to improve outcomes. Journal of educational psychology, 92(2), 263-283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Morris, S. B. (2008). Estimating effect sizes from pretest-posttest-control group designs. Organizational Research Methods, 11(2), 364–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nagy, W., & Anderson, R. (1984). The number of words in printed school English. Reading Research Quarterly, 19, 304–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nagy, W., & Scott, J. A. (2000). Vocabulary processes. In M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Bar (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3, pp. 269–284). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  48. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Accessed March 24, 2010 from http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/upload/smallbook_pdf.pdf.
  49. Netz, Y., Wu, M.-J., Becker, B. J., & Tenenbaum, G. (2005). Physical activity and psychological well-being in advanced age: A meta-analysis of intervention studies. Psychology and Aging, 20(2), 272–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Norcini, J. J. (1999). Standards and reliability in evaluation: when rules of thumb don’t apply. Academic Medicine, 74, 1088–1090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nunes, T., Bryant, P., Pretzlik, U., Burman, D., Bell, D., & Gardner, S. (2006). An intervention program for classroom teaching about morphemes: Effects on the children’s vocabulary. In T. Nunes, P. Bryant, et al. (Eds.), Improving literacy by teaching morphemes (pp. 121–134). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Nunes, T., Bryant, P., Pretzlik, U., & Hurry, J. (Eds.). (2006). Improving literacy by teaching morphemes. London and NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Osterlind, S. J. (2006). Modern measurement: Theory, principles, and applications of mental appraisal. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  54. Perfetti, C. A. (1988). Verbal efficiency in reading ability. In G. E. MacKinnon, T. G. Waller, & M. Daneman (Eds.), Reading research: Advances in theory and practice (Vol. 6, pp. 109–143). New York: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  55. Raudenbush, S. W. (2009). Analyzing effect sizes: Random-effects models. In B. S. Cooper, L. V. Hedges, & J. C. Valentine (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  56. Reed, D. K. (2008). A synthesis of morphology interventions and effects on reading outcomes for students in grades K-12. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 23(1), 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. *Roberts Frank, A. (2008). The effect of instruction in orthographic conventions and morphological features on the reading fluency and comprehension skills of high-school freshmen. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of San Francisco.Google Scholar
  58. *Robinson, J. W., Hesse, K. D. (1981). A morphemically based spelling program’s effect on spelling skills and spelling performance of seventh grade students. Journal of Educational Research, 75(1), 56-62.Google Scholar
  59. Rozin, P., Poristsky, S., & Sotsky, R. (1971). American children with reading problems can easily learn to read English represented by Chinese characters. Science, 171(3977), 1264–1267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rubin, H., Patterson, P. A., & Kantor, M. (1991). Morphological development and writing ability in children and adults. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 22, 228–235.Google Scholar
  61. Shankweiler, D., Crain, S., Katz, L., Fowler, A. E., Liberman, A. M., Brady, S. A., et al. (1995). Cognitive profiles of reading-disabled children: Comparison of language skills in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Psychological Science, 6(3), 149–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Siegel, L. S. (2008). Morphological awareness skills of English language learners and children with Dyslexia. Topics in Language Disorders, 28(1), 15–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Singson, M., Mahony, D., & Mann, V. (2000). The relation between reading ability and morphological skills: Evidence from derivational suffixes. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 12, 219–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Stanovich, K. E. (1996). Toward a more inclusive definition of dyslexia. Dyslexia, 2, 154–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sutton, A. J. (2009). Publication bias. In B. S. Cooper, L. V. Hedges, & J. C. Valentine (Eds.), The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  66. *Tomesen, M., Aarnoutse, C. (1998). Effects of an instructional programme for deriving word meanings. Educational Studies, 24(1), 107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. *Tyler, A. A., Lewis, K. E., Haskill, A., Tolbert, L. C. (2002). Efficacy and cross-domain effects of a morphosyntax and a phonology intervention. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 33, 52-66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. *Tyler, A. A., Lewis, K. E., Haskill, A., Tolbert, L. C. (2003). Outcomes of different speech and language goal attack strategies. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 46, 1077-1094.Google Scholar
  69. *Vadasy, P. F., Sanders, E. A., Peyton, J. A. (2006). Paraeducator-supplemented instruction in structural analysis with text reading practice for second and third graders at risk for reading problems. Remedial and Special Education, 27(6), 365-378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. White, T. G., Sowell, J., & Yanagihara, A. (1989). Teaching elementary students to use word-part clues. Reading Teacher, 42(4), 302–308.Google Scholar
  71. Windsor, J. (2000). The role of phonological opacity in reading achievement. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 43(1), 50–61.Google Scholar
  72. Windsor, J., & Hwang, M. (1997). Knowledge of derivational suffixes in students with language learning disabilities. Annals of Dyslexia, 47.Google Scholar
  73. Wysocki, K., & Jenkins, J. R. (1987). Deriving word meanings through morphological generalization. Reading Research Quarterly, 22(1), 66–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningVanderbilt University’s Peabody CollegeNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational and Psychological StudiesUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

Personalised recommendations