Authors: Hess, Dwayne.
Publication: Coppin State University. Master's Thesis 2009
Case study observing an adult dyslexic literacy student over a four month period of intensive reading instruction. The student has lacked reading and writing fluency throughout his adult life. Even though he has attended adult reading classes he has continued to read at around a first grade level.
During the study, the student used several different types of reading materials including the Wilson Reading System and the Davis Alignment Method. In addition, the student took several tests, such as the TABE and the Wide Range Achievement Test at the beginning, middle and end of the study to determine grade level and assess growth in phonemic awareness. The standardized test scores showed minimal increases in grade level and phonemic awareness. Informal assessments also showed growth including several important points related to motivation and self-confidence. Furthermore, the study has several implications for the adult learner and for teachers of adult learners.
The researcher reported:
I have been very intrigued by the results of using the Davis Method of mental alignment. While the student has not shown dramatic improvements in grade level, I have noticed obvious differences that this particular method can make in his reading. There have been numerous times during the study when I would ask the student to stop and do the realignment exercise in his mind. I often asked him to do this when he was most frustrated. For example, he would be trying to sound out a word with a consonant blend, such as “string.” Instead of saying /string/ he would say any number of wrong combinations of letters resulting in a nonsense word or a completely different word. Many times he seemed to try harder and harder, becoming more and more frustrated. About ninety percent of the time that I asked him to stop and do the realignment exercise, he was able to come back to the paper and pronounce the word he was having difficulty with in one more try.
Note: This study is unusual in that it combined a traditional teaching method with the Davis mental orientation approach, but did not employ any of the Davis tools for reading mastery.