The MORPH Project: A randomised controlled trial of morphological instruction for children with reading and spelling difficulties

  • Date:
  • Time: 16:00 - 17:00
  • Location: Coach House, Hillary Place
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Dr Danielle Colenbrander (University of Bristol)


In this study, the effectiveness of a morphological instruction method called Structured Word Inquiry (Bowers & Kirby, 2010) was compared to a comparison training programme in which children were taught word meanings and reading comprehension strategies (Motivated Reading). Two-hundred and seventy children in Years 3 and 5 took part. Instruction was delivered to small groups by teaching assistants for 24 weeks. Preliminary results suggest that Motivated Reading Instruction was more effective than Structured Word Inquiry for the children with the weakest reading and spelling skills, while the opposite was true for children with the highest pre-test scores. Possible reasons for this finding will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Dr Danielle Colenbrander is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol. She trained as a speech language therapist before completing her PhD exploring the role of oral vocabulary in reading comprehension difficulties. She is interested in relationships between oral language, reading aloud and reading comprehension, and in how difficulties in these areas can be remediated.