Purdue University Graduate School
2023.4.18 Alex Lovell Thesis.pdf (3.24 MB)

The Evaluation of Phonemic Awareness Lesson Materials- Alexandria Lovell

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posted on 2023-04-19, 13:34 authored by Alexandria Meredith LovellAlexandria Meredith Lovell


The majority of native English-speaking students who have difficulties in reading do not have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness skills which causes their overall reading ability to be hindered. Phonemic awareness is the knowledge that words are made up of different sounds and being able to manipulate those sounds in a variety of ways. About 70 to 80% of these students have difficulty recognizing the words on the page (Moats & Tolman, 2019). A master’s degree final project was created to address this reading issue.

The master’s project had two major parts. The first part was a survey study on the evaluation of the newly developed reading lesson and assessment materials and the second was the training handbook for teachers working with students with disabilities in reading. The specific purpose of the survey was to obtain teachers’ evaluation of newly developed phonemic awareness lesson materials. The lesson materials that were evaluated by the participants included the Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST), reading passages, one and two-syllable word lists, and four example lesson plans.

The following questions that guided this survey study were (1) How do the teachers evaluate the phonemic awareness lesson materials in regard to oral reading fluency, accuracy, and decoding of third-grade special education students with disabilities? (2) What lessons and activities are elementary teachers currently implementing for phonemic awareness instruction? (3) How do phonemic awareness lesson materials align with the goal of supporting third-grade special education students’ fluency, accuracy, and decoding skills? The measurement tool used in this study was a Qualtrics survey. The survey consisted of eleven rating scale questions with open-ended questions. The rating scale was a Likert scale (one being strongly disagreed to four being strongly agreed). Each rating scale question had the option for participants to explain the reason for their rating in an open-ended question. The last five questions were open-ended questions seeking teachers’ current practices and recommendations.

A total of 22 teachers were recruited from one elementary school in a mid-western state. The results of the survey (N=1) indicated a need for the development of systematically designed phonemic awareness teaching materials for special education teachers and their third-grade students with disabilities. Based on the extensive review of the previously published phonemic awareness materials, this author found there is no comprehensive teacher training guide that includes key information on phonemic awareness, assessments, and intervention materials. A handbook on phonemic awareness instruction was developed to provide a guide for teachers providing reading intervention to students on what phonemic awareness and related literacy components (i.e., fluency, accuracy, and decoding) are, how to assess phonemic awareness needs in students with disabilities, and how to implement direct instruction of phonemic awareness skills to improve student learning. The handbook this author created also included a section on how to prepare an IRB application for teacher candidates/teachers who are interested in conducting IRB-approved studies in their own classrooms in order to fulfill their master’s or doctoral degree requirements. 


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Educational Studies

Campus location

  • Fort Wayne

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jane Leatherman

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Jeong-il Cho

Additional Committee Member 2

Rama Cousik

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