School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle J Barthlow


Beginning Reading Education, High Frequency Word List, Reading, Rote Words


Curriculum and Instruction | Early Childhood Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods


The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to test the theory of using high frequency word list (HFWL)-based instruction when teaching beginning reading instruction. This study compared the reading fluency changes of eight classes across three different grades containing 115 students over 5 months as measured by the Standardized Test for the Assessment in Reading (STAR) when intervention students are given identical instruction using different popular HFWLs. One control group received no such intervention. The Fry HFWL was used. The resulting scores were analyzed using an independent-samples t test. The comparisons determined the effectiveness of teaching beginning reading using the addition of these types of lists into daily instruction. The importance of this study is to strengthen the foundation upon which reading instructors base their daily lesson plans, specifically what word lists teachers use, as well as their course curriculum and scope and sequence of their instruction. No statistical differences were found between the experimental instruction group HFWL-based instruction in beginning reading and instruction based on other word lists. Further research needs to be conducted to uncover possible benefits with other populations, as well as to determine if other strategies using HFWL-based reading instruction would prove effective.