EFFECTIVENESS OF TASK MOTIVATIONAL INSTRUCTIONS ON REMEDIAL READING STUDENTS: AN ADJUNCT APPROACH
AuthorMcKittrick, Mary Thalgott
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigated whether or not the use of specific task motivational instructions, delivered without hypnotic induction, would improve the reading performance of elementary school students reading on a remedial level. The task motivational instructions consisted of two components: fantasy trips and suggestions designed to improve the subject's self-confidence and increase his/her reading performance. Twenty-one students who read on a remedial level, grades two to six, were assigned randomly to one of three experimental groups: Group I (Relaxation plus Task Motivational Instructions), Group II (Task Motivational Instructions only) and Group III (Control). Subjects were seen for one baseline session and six experimental sessions. During baseline and each experimental session, three measures of reading performance (reading comprehension, reading speed, and word recognition) were obtained. A portable EMG system was used to record the forehead muscle tension of each subject. During experimental sessions, Group I received both relaxation training and specific task motivational instructions designed to improve reading performance. Group II received the same specific task motivational instructions, but without the relaxation. Although Group III received neither relaxation training nor task motivational instruction, the subjects in Group III were tested weekly on the three reading measures. The results of the study were as follows: (1) Subjects receiving both relaxation training and task motivational instructions showed (1) a significant increase in reading comprehension scores, (2) a significant increase in the number of words read per second, and (3) no significant increase in word recognition scores. (2) Subjects receiving only task motivational instructions showed (1) a significant increase in reading comprehension scores, (2) a significant increase in the number of words read per second, and (3) no significant increase in word recognition scores. (3) Subjects receiving neither of the experimental treatments showed (1) no significant increase in reading comprehension scores, (2) no significant increase in the number of words read per second, and (3) no significant increase in word recognition scores. (4) Data for all subjects participating in the study showed a significant increase in forehead EMG scores following reading. The results of this study support these conclusions. First, the treatment used resulted in significant increases in reading comprehension and the number of words read per second. Second, children appear to enjoy the treatment activities involving the fantasy trips and the motivational instructions. Third, children do not seem to enjoy the relaxation training method used. Fourth, children who have difficulty reading show greater forehead muscle tension following reading. Fifth, an EMG recording of forehead muscle tension does not appear to be a satisfactory method to measure relaxation in elementary school children. In summary, the results of this study indicate that elementary school children who read on a remedial level appear to increase their reading performance faster when remediation includes task motivational instructions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College