Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick M. Jenlink

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Crowell


The purpose of this study was to identify a common set of strategies as determined by two panels of experts (practitioners and theorists), which reflected a sociopsycholinguistic teaching model integrating reading and writing processes on the postsecondary level.

At the present time approximately 30% of the students entering college have some type of skill need, and tertiary institutions have been compelled to admit this type of developmental student to survive financially. Higher education has responded to this crisis by providing developmental programs to assist students in improving their basic skills.

Despite the fact that recent educational research on language acquisition and development states that reading, writing, speaking, and listening are best taught simultaneously in a whole language process, these skills are still taught in isolation in developmental programs designed to assist students. Therefore, the need was to come up with more effective alternatives to traditional methods.

In researching these alternatives, this study focused on the need to determine exactly which of these strategies were sociopsycholinguistic in nature and were appropriate and useful in working with developmental postsecondary students.

Using a survey-research design, the investigation was conducted by developing and administering two instruments: A Survey of the Utilization of Sociopsycholinguistic Strategies, and A Survey of Sociopsycholinguistic Strategies and Practices. The sample consisted of 252 specialists: 224 practitioners working with developmental college students selected from 48 Michigan higher education institutions and 28 selected experts in the theory of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, sociopsycholinguistics, and linguistics from the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Five hypotheses were developed for this investigation. A two-thirds

criterion was used to provide a ratio of positive to negative responses, which determine agreement on the individual strategies. Findings of this study provided an integrated set of sociopsycholinguistic strategies agreed to be useful and appropriate at the tertiary level. Further research needs to be done on the effectiveness of these strategies with developmental students.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access