Objective: The study aimed at investigating the effect of scaffolding strategies as thinking out loud and verbalization of instructions strategies on the generalization skills of language-related concepts in mildly intellectual disabled students.
Method: Twenty-seven subjects in three treatments were trained in solving a pattern of the Thurston letter series task. Group 1 students received language concepts through training in verbal instructions and thinking out loud strategy. Group 2 students received language concepts training through computers. Group 3 students received training in language concepts through thinking out loud, verbal instructions and computer software. Pretraining measures to subjects’ chronological age, Verbal Analogies Test and training trials were collected. Training measures pertaining to acquisition, maintenance and generalization of pattern completion tasks were collected. Mean scores and standard deviations were obtained for each dependent measure.
Results: The treatment effect was studied by a series of one way ANOVAS and a tukey post hoc test, which revealed that there was a significant difference between group 1 and group 2, since the difference between the means (m1-m3)=-2.556 and p=0.000. Also, the difference is shown between group 2 and group 3 since the difference between the means (m2-m3)=-2.333 and p=0.000 and in both cases p is less than 0.05. Moreover, group 3 had a higher mean (M=3.89) than group 2 (M=1.56) and group 1 (M=1.33).
Conclusion: Group 3 had the ability to become self– regulated by solving the untrained letter patterns. Thus, we can conclude that training in scaffolding strategies, such as thinking out loud and verbalization of instruction strategies, helped individuals with an intellectual disability to acquire metacognitive strategies. This enabled them to generalize the learning experience and become selfregulated and better problem solvers. Also, using a computer program promoted the use of metacognitive strategies. Once students internalize target strategies, they can transfer these to second language patterns; therefore, it enhances the generalization of learning individuals with an intellectual disability. Recommendations for further research were discussed.
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