University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Robert Cunningham
M.S. in Occupational Therapy, July, 1993, Eastern Kentucky University
B.S. in Occupational Therapy, December, 1988, University of North Dakota

The Effects of Word Prediction and Text-to-Speech on the Writing Process of Translating



The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the combination of word prediction and text-to-speech software on the writing process of translating. Participants for this study included 10 elementary and middle school students who had a diagnosis of disorder of written expression. A modified multiple case series was used to collect data over a three-week period. The participants were asked to describe in writing what was happening in a picture-based writing prompt. The participants responded in writing using word processor software alone in the pretest condition and using the word prediction, text-to-speech software WordQ in the posttest condition. The results provided support for the use of the word prediction and text-to-speech features in WordQ with students who have a diagnosis of disorder of written expression. The participants’ written work was significant for having fewer spelling errors, increased syntactic maturity as measured by mean T-unit length and fewer overall words produced when using the WordQ software.


Date: April 12, 2013

Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Place: Dean’s Conference Room


Defense of Dissertation Committee


Patricia Kopetz, Ed.D. (Advisor)

John Heskett, Ed.D.


Richard Kilgore, Ph.D.

April Regester, Ph.D.