• The influence of electronic books on third grade reading comprehension.

      Rich, Sarah A. (04/01/2013)
      This study investigated the silent reading comprehension of three third grade participants who struggle to decode grade level material. The participants were given seven passages, four from a paper book and three from an e-book. After reading, the participants completed graphic organizers and met with the researcher to retell the story. The amount of what the participant recalled was estimated using a retelling guide. The amount of points the participant obtained from the retelling guide when reading from a paper book and reading from an e-book was compared. Data indicated that all participants retold more literal information when they read from an e-book. All participants also completed a survey to express his or her feelings about reading each type of text. Two participants preferred using an iPad to read and one preferred reading from a paper book. The participant who preferred reading from a paper book also had the smallest increase in comprehension score. Another participant stated that she would have liked the e-book more if it had a pronunciation feature that read individual words for her. In conclusion, it was found that there is no harm in giving participants the choice of reading a paper book or e-book in an elementary classroom. Also, e-books are most supportive for struggling readers when a pronunciation tool is provided.
    • The influence of prewriting strategies on the academic writing of students with learning disabilities

      Giacomini, Evan (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2017-05)
      To answer the question of the influence of prewriting strategies on the academic writing of students with learning disabilities, the most appropriate way is with a research synthesis. The first finding is that all single prewriting strategies examined for both expository and narrative writing are either mnemonic devices (verbally-based) or a form of graphic organizer (visually-based). Both devices guide students through the prewriting process: mnemonic devices also remind students to plan their work, while graphic organizers display a plan for writing. Students with learning disabilities in grades 6 to 9 appear to be influenced most by pre-structured graphic organizers in either paper or computer-based mode. Second is that how prewriting strategies are taught also appears to play a major role in the impact of the strategies, with the most effective form of instruction for both strategies being an explicitly taught direct instruction approach. Third is that the most effective instruction for pairing with a mnemonic device appears to be the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) approach, while direct instruction of any prewriting strategy improves the writing of students from grades 2 to 9. The fourth finding is that the most effective prewriting strategies for students with learning disabilities appear to be strategies which use a visual or mnemonic device and are taught through direct instruction using a form of self-regulatory instruction, frequently Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). These four findings will be presented on the internet as professional development in the form of a Prezi intended for educators and reading teachers. [from author's abstract]
    • The influence of society on the roles of African Americans, [and] Gays and Lesbians in film.

      Platt, Andrew J. (2013-01-14)
      Minorities, specifically African Americans, and gays and lesbians have been widely represented by negative stereotypes in film. These stereotypical roles have been strongly influenced by society. While these stereotypes may represent some individuals they do not represent the community as a whole. Films such as Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, Imitation of Life, Foxy Brown, Chicago, Different from the Others, These Three, Victim, Making Love and Brokeback Mountain were researched and screened to determine how African Americans and the gay and lesbian individuals were portrayed. Throughout history, the roles played by these minorities have changed. How the majority of society views those minorities has been how they were represented in the films during their time. It should be the goal of Hollywood to represent minority characters with substance and not focus only on the stereotypical roles for financial profitability. More independent studios and filmmakers are needed to create positive images. These types of roles played by minorities may not change until the audiences are willing to pay to see films that have positive roles for minority characters.
    • The influence of students' perceptions of writing on academic writing performance

      LiPuma, Kelsey (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Analysis of The Nation's Report Card (NAEP, 2011) indicates low performance by adolescent students in the area of academic writing, which in turn suggests that students in the elementary grades are not developing the writing skills that will enable them to write successfully as adolescents. Academic writing involves specific expectations for structure, content, and conventions. While students learn these expectations, students' perceptions of writing may also impact their academic writing performance. Therefore, to address this problem of students' low academic writing performance, an appropriate research question is, what are fourth grade students' perceptions of writing and what is the influence of those perceptions on their academic writing performance? This question of perception and influence is appropriately addressed by conducting an empirical study with fourth grade participants and a mixed methodology to determine specific perceptions and their relationship to writing performance. After measuring academic writing performance and collecting data on perception attitude, self-efficacy, and writing knowledge, analysis has produced three findings. First is that although these participants all had the same teachers and writing instruction throughout their elementary schooling, their perceptions of writing are not consistent with each other but range as do their academic writing performances. Second is that their knowledge of "writing" appears to be primarily focused on an academic concept of writing, and the third finding is that the relationship between perception and performance appears to have a linear correlation, with neutral attitude and neutral self-efficacy producing below average to average writing performance. [from abstract]
    • Information content of house cricket (Acheta domesticus) songs and the evolution of multiple signals.

      Covey, Andrea J. (2013-01-11)
      Despite the extensive literature on cricket bioacoustics, little collective understanding has been established that compares the structural and functional significance of the three distinct gryllid song types: calling song, courtship song, and aggressive song. Here, we compile recent work on all three song types that underscores the importance of song in communicating aspects of male phenotype to receivers (females and rival males). In doing so, we uncover similarities and differences between both the information content of each song type and the acoustic structures through which this content is communicated. By placing these comparisons into the context of multiple signaling theory, we can begin to understand how and why male gryllids make use of multiple acoustic signals. -- Author abstract (leaf 2) Despite the extensive literature on cricket bioacoustics, little collective understanding has been established that compares the structural and functional significance of the three distinct gryllid song types: calling song, courtship song, and aggressive song. Here, we measured all three song types from a cohort of male house crickets (Acheta domesticus) throughout their natural lifespan in order to make direct comparisons of song structure and phenotypic information content between the calling, courtship, and aggressive songs. Through statistical analysis of eight acoustic parameters of song, we established that there are significant structural differences between the three song types. By looking for correlations between phenotype and song structure, we also determined the phenotypic information content present in all three house cricket songs and that the distribution of information content may differ depending on song type. This suggests that the evolutionary persistence of three song types in the gryllid family may be due to the presence of multiple messages. -- Author abstract (leaf 45)
    • Instructional strategies for non-traditional text.

      Stern, Kyle N. (2014)
      To answer the question of whether an adolescent student may comprehend a non-traditional form of expository text just as well as a traditional form of expository text by using the appropriate reading comprehension strategy, this researcher conducted an empirical study. The Literature Review addressed three aspects of the research question: adolescent comprehension struggles, adolescent comprehension strategies, and non-traditional modes of expository text. The quantitative experimental methodology of this study made use of a visual reading comprehension strategy and compared test results when students were asked to read and apply that strategy to both a traditional expository text (the US Constitution) and its non-traditional graphic novel counterpart. Findings indicate that a comprehension strategy shown to be beneficial on a traditional text can be applied to a non-traditional text and also produce positive results. Findings further indicate that some adolescent students increase their comprehension when applying a strategy to a non-traditional mode of text, while others actually decrease their comprehension of the expository content when using the strategy on a non-traditional text.
    • Instructional technology and literacy performance.

      Hillebert, Amanda R. (2014)
      Technology use in schools appears to be growing rapidly in many school districts, so this researcher wanted to determine if the instructional technologies being purchased by schools were in fact beneficial to the students. This thesis was completed to address the research question of how instructional technology impacts literacy development in students. To answer that question, the researcher conducted an extensive literature review and research synthesis. The collected studies were organized into five categories: instructional technology with computer software, with interactive white boards (IWB), with digital story booking/podcasting, with mobile devices, and impact of teacher attitude on instructional technology. Analysis of the studies in each category produced the following findings: that instructional technology impacts literacy development in a positive way, specifically by improving reading and writing skills, increasing student participation and engagement, increasing standardized test scores, and increasing reading comprehension across content areas. Instructional technology with digital story booking/podcasting increases literacy development in emergent literacy skills, student performance, and vocabulary. Instructional technology with mobile devices increases phonemic awareness skills and student responsibility. Findings also show that teacher positive attitudes towards instructional technology influence student positive attitudes towards instructional technology, which in turn improves student literacy development. The findings of this literature review are applicable to all teachers in all content areas because instructional technology is used in all content areas at all grade levels.
    • Integrating Children’s Literature into 5th Grade New York State Social Studies Curriculum.

      Lindstrom, Amber (29/03/2013)
      The integration of children’s literature into curriculums has shown to have a positive influence on student’s learning. In this project, children's literature will be integrated into the 5th grade New York State social studies curriculum. The curriculum will contain nine units that include whole group lessons and small group lessons. Each of these lessons have been designed to allow for differentiated instruction to occur within classrooms allowing all students the ability to comprehend the given content. Each lesson also contains a historic library to allow students to expand beyond the typical social studies lessons each day. Students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge from multiple points of view as well as academic levels. These supplemental lessons have also been designed to integrate the English Language Arts Common Core standards within to assure that all standards are being met. This supplemental curriculum has been designed as an outline to allow teachers to create their own units through their curriculum. However, the completion of the curriculum has proved that these types of lessons require a substantial amount of time to create. Therefore, it is then understood why many teachers choose the textbook and worksheet route rather than the different forms of differentiated instruction.
    • Interactive read alouds.

      Steinert, Priscilla (04/01/2013)
      This Master’s Thesis project focused on interactive read-alouds as a strategy to increase preschooler's vocabulary and comprehension skills. The findings from the literature review suggested that reading aloud provided a means of engaging students as they constructed meaning and explored the reading process. Findings further indicated that reading aloud to children provided them with opportunities to discuss the text and explore language usage by verbalizing their own interpretations. This resulted in a professional development project for prekindergarten teachers on interactive read-alouds and ways in which this strategy can increase vocabulary and comprehension in preschoolers.
    • Introduction of native tree species in sites invaded by Japanese Knotweed Taxa and a study of its affect of the seedbank.

      Toews, Hans-Peter C. (2013-01-15)
      The invasion of three closely related taxa of knotweeds: (Japanese knotweed) Polygonum cuspidatum, (giant knotweed) Polygonum sachalinensis, and their hybrid Polygonum x bohemica in riparian corridors throughout the eastern U.S. has a negative impact on native plant communities. In the study the following research objectives were addressed: 1) To determine if forms of mechanical control (cutting and tilling) could be used to allow tree saplings to become established in knotweed invaded sites. 2) To compare height and leaf number of saplings of four native tree species inside and outside of Japanese knotweed stands. 3) To compare the soil seed bank density and composition in knotweed invaded versus noninvaded sites. No significant differences were found in the growth or survival among the saplings of four native tree species across treatments. Although treatments did not significantly affect sapling growth trends showed that saplings in the tilled treatment had the greatest growth across treatments over the growing season. A longer running experiment is needed to establish any emerging patterns in the data. Significantly greater densities of seedlings were observed in non-invaded than invaded sites and significantly greater densities of native seedlings were observed in non-invaded than invaded sites. Knotweed invasion does significantly affect the seedbank.
    • An introduction to home-making practices among Karen speaking populations of Buffalo, New York

      Dewey, Lauren (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Refugees from all walks of life who have been relocated to numerous countries are often in need of resources to help them settle in and make sense of a new culture and language. This capstone focuses on aiding refugees in integration with a new society. The capstone project takes the form of a bilingual guide book that can be used by refugees on their own as well as used as a teaching guide through multiple institutions such as schools, church outreach programs, and social service programs. The problem with refugee integration services is that there is little funding and flexibility for appropriate programming. This capstone project attempts to help bridge the gap and provide a versatile, cost effective measure to aid in refugee integration in the city of Buffalo, New York, focusing specifically on Karen refugees from Burma with the intention to allow translation into many different languages. The result of this collection of chapters ranging from household and personal health and hygiene to getting help, and finding transportation, is intended to provide answers and background knowledge to refugees on everyday subjects. [ from author's abstract ]
    • An investigation of the relationship between sleep and college achievement

      Lilga, Justin (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      An experiment was conducted at a small university to investigate the effects of sleep patterns on academic achievement of undergraduate students. Undergraduate students were given a self-reporting questionnaire and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to help track their sleep habits during the academic semester. The sleep habits that were tracked include subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, sleep medication, and daytime dysfunction. The participants were asked to return the self-reporting instruments, which were used to determine their eligibility for a second round of self-reporting. The students were asked to submit a second self-reporting questionnaire designed to target if their sleep patterns had played a role in their midterm grade point average. Participants were asked to turn in a copy of their spring 2016 midterm academic information. The sleep patterns and academic achievement of each participant were used for analysis. In conclusion, there was a slight decrease in grade point average for students who were reported to have a worse sleep quality according to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. [from abstract]
    • Keys to learning : developing a culturally sustainable music curriculum for Cassadaga job corps

      Doughert, Genevieve (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-12)
      Students from minority demographics are often denied the opportunity to participate in music instruction for a wide variety of reasons relating to inequitable access to arts programming for students attending underfunded schools in low socioeconomic areas. If minority students are granted access to music programming, the curricula available are frequently incongruent with students' cultural backgrounds and personal identities. In response to this problem, a culturally sustainable curriculum was developed to meet the needs, interests, cultural identities, resources, and prior knowledge of students at a Job Corps center in Cassadaga, NY. Armed with research regarding music's impact on cognitive, affective, and social development, as well as best practices in culturally sustainable pedagogy, the curriculum developer embarked on the creation of a music program that lead students through the four creative processes as defined by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS): connecting, creating, performing, and responding. A student-centered curriculum, Keys to Learning was designed with flexibility; emphasizing higher order inquiry, and practices in critical thinking skills as the pedagogical fulcrum of the four creative processes. With few extraneous resources, students told their stories through the medium of original song composition; the visceral authenticity and unprecedented innovation exhibited in these works validates the profound benefit of such a curriculum for students from all backgrounds. This curriculum is aligned with the Job Corps Career Success Standards (2016) as well as the twelve Anchor Standards from the National Council for Core Arts Standards (SEADAE, 2016). [from author's abstract]
    • Lack of student motivation within the ESL classroom.

      Drzymala, Marianne (2015)
      This paper discusses the lack of ESL student motivation within the classroom, teacher perceptions of student motivation, and effective strategies that teachers implement within an ESL classroom. Included within this thesis is a study that compiled data from teachers and middle school ESL students within a small city school district. The study resulted from an interest of the researcher in ESL student motivation and teacher perceptions of student motivation. The study focused on various factors within intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within an individual while extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from outside an individual. The study was carried out by the researcher over a two month period of time. The researcher gave a motivational survey to a target group of eleven students, interviewed the two ESL teachers that worked with these students, and observed several class sessions making anecdotal notes while observing of motivational strategies being used and student responses to these strategies. The research showed that the students displayed higher levels of motivation within student led classrooms with home language materials made available. In addition the research found that students were equally intrinsically and extrinsically led. The teacher interviews gave insight to the teacher personalities and subsequent observations showed how the personality of the teacher led to the success or lack of success of a class session. These findings showed the importance of student motivation leading to academic success. This topic yielded a great deal of interesting data. The research showed that middle school students are equally intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and one type of motivational strategy is not efficient or effective.
    • Language or disability? : representation, identification, and assessment of ELLS for special education in Western New York.

      Dusett, Holly A. (30/10/2012)
      There exists a lack of research regarding the representation of English language learners (ELLs) in special education in Western New York schools. This study contributes to the literature concerning the representation, assessment, and referral process of ELLs for special education services. Teachers from Western New York were surveyed using an on line twenty-seven question instrument, including a five-point Likert scale. Seventeen respondents participated in the survey from three different Western New York State school districts. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. The hypothesis was that ESL teachers and special education teachers often refer ELLs for special education services due to invalid assessments, and a misunderstanding of student performance due to differences between second language acquisition and special education needs. The results indicate that there is an over representation of ELLs in some Western New York State schools. The results are indicated that teachers most often refer ELLs to special education due to issues related to poor or low academic achievement and written language issues. The teachers surveyed responded that they do not often refer ELLs for special education services due to motivational issues. The respondents also felt that standardized tests impacted the referral of ELLs to special education. There is a need for further research in this area in the United States as a whole, but in Western New York specifically as well in order to provide additional information to assist in the appropriate referral of ELLs.
    • Learning language in the workplace

      Trask, Casey Rae (29/08/2012)
      Within the United States there is a growing number of non-native English speaking adults who are currently employed or seeking employment in a variety of settings. Many of these adults are limited in their English language proficiency, which poses a problem for both employees who need the appropriate language skills to succeed in the workplace and employers who want to hire employees who will be able to navigate the demands of the workplace. This paper outlines the development of a curriculum intended for use with non-native English speaking adults, who are currently employed or seeking employment at a manufacturing company. The primary purpose of this curriculum project was to develop a curriculum to improve the safety vocabulary and basic English communication skills of Spanish speaking adults who are seeking employment or who are currently employed at a manufacturing company.
    • Linguistic and cultural experiences of female Chinese International graduate students at State University of New York at Fredonia

      Irish, John (2015)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Chinese female graduate students about how their needs were met at State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. A qualitative interview research design was used to investigate the cultural, linguistic, and academic needs and factors affecting of these students, as well as their views of the university, including its academic services. The participants interview responses were recorded, then summarized, minute by minute, by the author and presented for analysis. A number of themes developed through the interviews process. These themes were then identified and analyzed. Recommendations based on answers to questions in the interview process were provided, and came in general three categories: factors affecting cultural adjustment, Chinese international graduate students and American peer interactions, and help available in ESL and Writing. This study concludes wit a summary of these findings and recommendations for action that the university could consider, based on the suggestions given by participants.
    • Linguistic landscape

      Alfaifi, Ali (2015)
      Recently, the spread of English has been internationally noticed, putting a remarkable influence on other languages. The linguistic landscape (LL) is a new field where linguists can examine many linguistic aspects such as bilingualism, translation and language policy through photographing shop signs and street billboards of either small or big cities worldwide; and then analyzing the samples gathered to detect what type of influence or dominance a language has on another. This study investigated the linguistic landscape in the vital areas of Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia, tourist destination (TD), commercial zone (CZ) and their smaller districts to examine how English is used on the shop, street, road and billboard signs together with investigating which language, either Arabic or English outweighed the other in the two locations, the tourist destination (TD) and the commercial zone (CZ) and their districts. A total of more than two hundred photos were collected from the two locations, yet, only 150 of them were analyzed and used. The collected data about Khamis Mushait was quantitatively analyzed. These methods were similar to Ben-Raefel (2006) and Backhaus (2007). The findings revealed that the Arabic language was entirely dominant in the Tourist Destination and its smaller districts, while the commercial zone appeared to be affected by globalization which means that English was used more often in the CZ. Despite this, analysis showed that Arabic still dominated the commercial zone (CZ) .
    • Linguistic Landscape on Campus: Asian College Students' Perceptions of Multilingual Learning Environments.

      Mahemuti, Misidoula (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-07)
      The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to investigate Asian international students' perceptions of linguistic landscape on campus, and (2) to enhance the classroom environment by creating a multilingual linguistic landscape for international students at the campus which is the research setting. The researcher designed a hands-on workshop to create a warm and welcoming environment for the students. (The final product of the workshop is displayed in the hallway in one of the campus buildings.) The researcher investigated how students' motivation, attitude and cultural awareness is affected by the linguistic landscape. The research for this study was conducted with Asian international students at a public, comprehensive state university campus in the northeast United States. The data collected through the survey is analyzed quantitatively, while the interview data used vivo and pattern coding (Saldaña, 2016). The main findings from the data indicated the importance of linguistic landscape for international students. It was found that international students are aware of the multilingual linguistic landscape around them, see it as important, and believe it can be used as a tool to increase their language awareness, improve social interaction, and represent their identities.