The effects of the Natural Approach on English oral communication skills in third-grade learning -disabled students

Maria Alejandra Reyes-Bonilla, Fordham University

Abstract

This study sought to determine the instructional effects of the Natural Approach on the English oral communication skills of third-grade learning disabled students. Subjects included 20 learning disabled students in a self-contained class who received the Natural Approach (NAT) as an experimental group. The control group consisted of 20 learning disabled mainstreamed students who received the English through Audiolingual Approach (AAT) treatment. The Natural Approach strategy emphasized language as communication. The instructional strategy states that in order to learn a second language, students need a rich acquisition environment in which they are receiving "comprehensible input" in low-anxiety environments.^ The Basic Inventory of Natural Language (BINL) was used to measure the English oral production skills. The Woodstock Language Proficiency Battery (WLPB) was used to measure the English vocabulary comprehension skills and the listening comprehension skills. Data were analyzed using an analysis of covariance in order to statistically reduce the effects of the initial group differences. Pretest data were analyzed for each dependent measure in order to account for group equivalence. Differences between group means and standard deviations were found. Data were also analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance to determine whether there was interaction between treatment conditions and age group classification.^ No significant differences were found between the mean posttest scores of the NAT and AAT groups in English oral communication skills. No significant differences were found between the mean posttest scores in the oral communication skills of learning disabled English as a second language (ESL) students classified by age groups and treatment conditions on the BINL. No significant interaction was found between experimental treatment and age group classification on the BINL. No significant differences were found between the means of posttest scores of the Woodcock Picture Vocabulary Subtest in learning English vocabulary comprehension skills of students under both treatments. A significant difference was found between the mean posttest scores in the listening comprehension skills of learning disabled ESL students by age group and treatment conditions on the Woodcock Analogies Subtest.^ This investigation revealed that learning disabled students can learn English with an instructional methodology like the Natural Approach. The NAT and the AAT showed instructional strengths for the acquisition of English as a second language in learning disabled students. Students under the NAT treatment showed a significant difference in the Analogy Subtest by age group. There is need for additional research in order to further identify effective methodologies for Puerto Rican learning disabled students acquiring English as a second language. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Elementary|Education, Special|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Maria Alejandra Reyes-Bonilla, "The effects of the Natural Approach on English oral communication skills in third-grade learning -disabled students" (January 1, 1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9136332.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9136332

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