The effect of a morphological awareness intervention on early writing outcomes
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a morphological awareness intervention on the spelling and sentence writing performance and growth of second (n = 17) and third (n = 10) grade students at risk for writing difficulty. The intervention was provided in 25 minute sessions four to five times per week for five weeks. Students were individually randomly assigned to either the intervention (n = 13) or the comparison (n = 14) condition. Students were pre- and post-tested using standardized tests of spelling and writing and a curriculum-based measure of sentence writing (CBM-W). Additionally, students were given a working memory index as a covariate and an oral language subtest as a counterfactual measure. All participants were also given the CBM-W task twice weekly as a progress monitoring measure. Intervention effects were measured using a series of t-tests and a multi-variate analysis of covariane (MANCOVA). Growth on the progress monitoring task was measured using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). Results indicated that students in the intervention significantly improved their spelling as a result of the intervention, but this result was attenuated when controlling for working memory. Student-level characteristics that predicted growth were baseline spelling ability and grade level. Students who were younger and poorer spellers to begin with made the most growth on the CBM-W sentence writing task.