Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miller, Elwyn R. (Professor of education)||McDowell, Dale

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


High schools--Curricula; English language--Study and teaching--Illinois--Argo


Argo Community High School has been experimenting with a new approach to the teaching of communication skills at the sophomore level. The experimental course (entitled Modem English) was divided into three distinct areas: composition and grammar, speech activities, and typing skills. The students enrolled, entered one of the sequences, and rotated to the second sequence at the end of a six-week period. After the student had completed the third sequence, he then repeated the cycle. A control group was used for the purposes of comparing achievement growth during and at the end of the school year. The students who participated in the control group followed the normal sophomore English course schedule consisting of eighteen weeks of speech, and eighteen weeks of English composition and grammar. The experimental course schedule Included twelve weeks of composition and grammar, twelve weeks of speech, and twelve weeks of typing, all presented in six-week rotating classes. Because of the rotation cycle, opportunities for transfer of training are innumerable. For example, skills taught in the grammar-composition sequence can be applied readily to assignments in the typing sequence. Likewise, the discipline of typing as a skill can motivate and train the student to improve in spelling, manuscript mechanics, and sentence structure. Evidence from the control class, and from achievement tests gives strong indication that the program is beneficial. Furthermore, a subjective evaluation of the teaching staff seems to indicate that the experimental course has created in the individual student an active interest in neatness and accuracy. Since most of the students in the program acquire a typing rate equal to or faster than their normal handwriting speed, they prefer to type their school assignments. As a result, teachers in other academic subjects have reported an increase in neatly typed assignments. Because of the evidence presented, plans are being made for more experimentation with the Modem English program in the years to come, including advance placement of selected freshmen into the sophomore program.


Includes bibliographical references.


viii, 50 pages, 3 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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