Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #295
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Reading and Writing to Preschool Students: A Verbal Behavior Development Approach
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Jessica Singer-Dudek, Ph.D.

The following symposium explores three different studies that targeted effective instruction across the areas of reading and writing within preschool populations through the perspective of the Verbal Behavior Development Theory. Longano, Hranchuk, and Greer (2018) present the effects of a preschool writer immersion instructional package on the structural components of writing and on affecting the behavior of a reader. Al Sharif and Dudek (2018) present the effects of establishing hear-do correspondence on read-do correspondence for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lastly, Morgan and Kim (2018) discuss a related topic in their presentation entitled The Effects of Reader Immersion on the Acquisition of Read-Do Correspondence for Two Preschool Students.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): preschool students, reading, verbal behavior, writing
Target Audience:

Practitioners and educators working with young children with and without disabilities


CANCELED: Teaching Preschool Aged Children to Write and Affect the Behavior of a Reader

(Applied Research)
JENNIFER LONGANO (Fred S. Keller School and Columbia University), Kieva Sofia Hranchuk (Fred S. Keller School and Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

We tested the effects of a writing/spelling instructional package on the emergence of the writing of untaught constant-vowel-constant (CVC) words and the potential effects of the written word on a reader. Six preschoolers, all male, ranging in ages from 3- to 4-years-old participated. We used a multiple probe design across 3 match-paired dyads for the first dependent measure, writing/spelling of untaught CVC words. We also tested for a secondary dependent measure; the effects of the written word on a reader, using a delayed multiple probe design. The intervention consisted of a writing/spelling instructional package, in which participants were taught to independently write dictated CVC words to corresponding picture cards. We then asked the other participant in the dyad to read and match the written response to a picture from an array of pictures. If incorrect, participants rewrote the word until their peers matched the written response to the correct picture. The results demonstrated that the instructional package was effective in teaching all participants to independently write/spell untaught CVC words and evoke a reader response.


The Effects of Establishing Hear-Do Correspondence on Read-Do Correspondence for Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
SHAHAD ALSHARIF (Teacher College, Columbia University ), Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)

The experimenters conducted a study to establish hear-do correspondence and observe its effects on read-do correspondence in 3 children diagnosed with Autism using a delayed multiple probe design (Johnston & Pennypacker, 2008). Hear-do correspondence is defined according to Verbal Behavior Development Theory (2009) and Verbal Behavior Theory (1957) as speaker as his own listener. According to Skinner (1957) the behavior of the listener is automatically reinforced as the listener takes on the role of both the listener and the speaker. Read-do correspondence is defined as reading governs responding. The experiment was conducted in a self- contained classroom that is based on the CABAS® model. The experimenters included 4 dependent variables represented in 2 different tasks, writing and building. In addition, all probes were conducted in 2 topographies, listening and reading. In the listening topography, the participants listened to a recording of themselves reading a set of directions they had to follow, while in the reading topography, they had to read a set of directions on an A4 paper and follow the directions. The writing task consisted of completing a set of 3 steps that included 10 components that produced a drawing, while the building task consisted of completing 10 steps that produced a construction. The independent variable consisted of the reader immersion protocol (Greer & Ross, 2008; Mackey, 2017), however, it was presented in a listening topography, rather than reading where the participants recorded the treasure hunt used in the intervention prior to starting the intervention and listened to the recording of their own voices to follow the instructions and receive reinforcement or correction as a consequence. The results of the experiment showed that the intervention was effective in increasing both hear-do and read-do correspondence following the completion of the intervention for all 3 participants.

The Effects of Reader Immersion on the Acquisition of Read-Do Correspondence for Two Preschool Students
(Applied Research)
GEORGETTE MORGAN (Teachers College, Columbia Unversity), Ji Young Kim (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Reader immersion is a protocol developed to teach students read-do correspondence, which is the correlated exchange between reading words and emitting actions based on novel print stimuli. In the present study, we used a multiple baseline design across 2 preschool aged participants with disabilities to demonstrate the effects of the reader immersion protocol on the acquisition of read-do correspondence. The dependent variable was the number of correct read-draw responses emitted during probe sessions. The independent variable was the reader immersion protocol in which the instructor provided written directions that the participant was required to read and complete to gain access to the reinforcer. The results of our study indicated that the reader immersion protocol was effective in the acquisition of read-do correspondence for both participants. This experiment built upon prior research that demonstrated the effectiveness of the reader immersion procedure on increasing the number of correct novel responses to print stimuli for kindergarten and elementary school aged students. The results suggested that classrooms could utilize reader immersion as part of their curriculum to induce read-do correspondence and thus provide necessary prerequisite skills to acquire advanced reader and writer repertoires.



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