Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Charles C. Warfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smitchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Joe Chapel


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a language development program that uses music as a medium of instruction on the reading achievement of Spanish speaking migrant children. Fifty-one preschool aged subjects from a Title I (Michigan Department of Education, 1987) Summer Migrant Education Program participated in the study.

The subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups. They were provided oral language instruction to help them acquire the language of the basal readers. In other words, the vocabulary and language patterns found in a basal reading program were built into the daily language lessons. In the comparison group, the subjects were instructed using a drill-type method; in the treatment group, the instruction was through musical activities . The musical activities were part of a specially designed program that used music to teach oral language. The musical program was developed by taking a ll the different words and language patterns found in the preprimers and arranging them into songs and set to music of familiar children's songs. The program ran for 6 weeks and the children participated twice daily .

At the end of the instructional period, the subjects were administered the Houghton Mifflin Reading Test (Brzeinski & Schoephoerster, 1983) which is designed to measure the level of reading mastery. The data were analyzed through the use of a t-test for independent means.

The findings of this study were inconclusive. The results of the t - test did not support a difference between the means of the post-test scores of the group receiving traditional drill-type instruction and the group receiving instruction through the medium of music. Even though a difference in the mean scores of the drill-type group and the musical group could not be substantiated, it is worthy to note that the children did not suffer academically by participating in the programs. In both groups the subjects made satisfactory progress in reading. The mean score of both groups was in the satisfactory range of accomplishment as set by the company.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access