Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Adviser

Kern, Lee

Other advisers/committee members

Calhoon, Mary Beth; Shih Dennis, Minyi; Bonner, Timothy


Current vocabulary research indicates that both contextual and morphemic analysis is effective in helping secondary students, with and without disabilities, and English Language Learners (ELLs) improve vocabulary acquisition. However, a dearth of vocabulary research has been conducted with secondary ELLs with Reading Disabilities (RD). This study investigated the effects of a combined contextual and morphemic analysis strategy, the CLUES Strategy, to help students predict and analyze unknown science vocabulary words. Four 9th-and 10th grade ELLs with RD in an urban high school participated in this study. A multiple-probe across-participants design was employed. Students were taught the CLUES strategy to improve their vocabulary acquisition. CLUES instruction consisted of 4 training lessons to introduce the terms to students (e.g., context, morphemes, prefixes, roots, and suffixes) and 10 CLUES Instructional lessons to teach 10 common science (e.g., biology and life science) roots. Dependent measures included CLUES Probes, Reading Comprehension-4 (Brown, Hammill, & Widerholt, 2008) Word Knowledge test, Word Part test, and Word Mapping/Strategy Use test. Students' ability to generalize the CLUES strategy without the use of the CLUES graphic organizer and their maintenance of the CLUES Strategy also was investigated. In addition, each participant's acceptability of the CLUES Strategy was assessed using an adapted version of the Child Intervention Rating Profile (CIRP; adapted from Witt & Elliott, 1985). The results of this study indicated that the students benefited from the use of the CLUES Strategy and both contextual and morphemic strategies generalized to novel science word meanings. Each student maintained his or her ability to use this strategy over time. Students were generally satisfied with the CLUES Strategy, and recommended its use with other peers.