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ERIC Number: ED539705
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-7
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Effective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best-Evidence Synthesis. [Educator's Summary]
Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education
Which elementary reading approaches have been proven to help struggling readers to succeed? To find out, this review summarizes evidence on six types of programs designed to improve the reading achievement of children having difficulty in learning to read: (1) One-to-One Tutoring by Teachers (TT) such as "Reading Recovery," "Auditory Discrimination in Depth," "Early Steps/Howard Street Tutoring," and "Targeted Reading Intervention"; (2) One-to-One Tutoring by Paraprofessionals and Volunteers (T-Para/Volunteers) such as "Sound Partners," "SMART," and "Book Buddies"; (3) Small Group Tutorials (SGT) such as "Corrective Reading," "Quick Reads," "Voyager Passport," and "PHAST Reading"; (4) Classroom Instructional Process Approaches (CIP): Effects for low achievers were reported for programs such as "Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition," "PALS," "Direct Instruction," and "Project Read"; (5) Classroom Instructional Process Programs with Tutoring (CIP+TT): Effects for low achievers were reported for "Success for All"; and (6) Instructional Technology (IT): Effects for low achievers were reported for programs such as "Jostens/Compass Learning," "Fast ForWord," and "Lexia." Overall, 96 experimental-control comparisons met the inclusion criteria, of which 39 used random assignment to treatments, and five used randomized quasi-experiments. Effect sizes (experimental-control differences as a proportion of a standard deviation) were averaged across studies, weighting by sample size. Conclusions include: (1) One-to-one tutoring works. Teachers are more effective as tutors than paraprofessionals or volunteers, and an emphasis on phonics greatly improves tutoring outcomes; (2) Although one-to-one phonetic tutoring for first graders is highly effective, effects last into the upper elementary grades only if classroom interventions continue past first grade; (3) Small group tutorials can be effective, but are not as effective as one-to-one instruction by teachers or paraprofessionals; (4) Classroom instructional process approaches, especially cooperative learning and structured phonetic models, have strong effects for low achievers (as well as other students); and (5) Traditional computer-assisted instruction programs have little impact on reading. These findings support the idea, central to current response-to-intervention models, that the best approach for struggling readers is to provide high-quality instruction in the first place, followed up with intensive instruction to the hopefully small number of students who continue to have difficulties despite high-quality classroom instruction. [For the full report, see ED527634. For related journal article, see EJ916476.]
Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education. Johns Hopkins University. 200 West Towsontown Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21204. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE)