Date of Award


Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study


Connecticut Literacy Specialist


Dr. Karen C. Waters


As academic expectations have increased in recent years due to the rigors of the Common Core State Standards, students are encountering a greater rate of multisyllabic words earlier in their schooling. Proficiency in reading has not paralleled this upward trend. Students are not receiving sufficient instruction to enable them to successfully decode and derive meaning from the multisyllabic words in their texts. To ascertain the effects of multisyllabic instruction on student performance in upper elementary students, we formulated an instructional model to teach syllabication and word morphology to determine if explicit instruction in syllabication and structural analysis had an effect on students’ overall decoding. This small-scale action research project, conducted over a six-week span included 12 upper elementary students in grades three and five, who had been identified through district assessments as struggling readers requiring tier II and III reading support. Following explicit instruction in the six syllable types, syllable patterns, affixes, and morphology, students had opportunities to practice newly-acquired skills in contextual application. Results indicated that integration of direct instruction and authentic application is an effective strategy for increasing word accuracy and comprehension. While students attained minimal gains in word reading in isolation, all students increased their instructional levels for oral reading and approached district benchmarks at the conclusion of the study.


Prepared for EDR 692 Applied Reading and Language Arts Research. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the coursework required for the post-masters' Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Literacy.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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