Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland


direct instruction, discovery teaching, embedded prompting, intraverbal, teaching strategies, verbal behavior


The intraverbal is argued to be the most socially significant verbal operant and yet it is the least studied. Heal and Hanley (2011) suggest that different teaching strategies will lead to different rates of acquisition and child-preference with the tacting operant. This study continued this research into the realm of intraverbals, with focus on whether the embedded teaching strategy could be punishing on play or engaging in learning opportunities. The teaching strategies of discovery teaching, embedded prompting, and direct teaching were compared to see which strategy correlated with higher rates of acquisition and higher child preference. The study utilized a multi-element design by rapidly alternating teaching strategies while evaluating rate of acquisition and number of learning opportunities within the teaching strategies. Child preference was also demonstrated through card selection of associated teaching strategies in a concurrent chains agreement design. The teaching strategies differed in the amount of teacher directedness and taught intraverbal "Wh" questions. It was found through this study that embedded prompting did not punish play or the engagement in learning opportunities. The three participants preferred the three strategies differently and all participants were responding correctly the highest percentage of the time during the direct teaching contingencies by the end of the teaching sessions.