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ERIC Number: ED539710
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Identifying What Works for Struggling Readers. Educator's Guide
Slavin, Robert E.; Lake, Cynthia; Davis, Susan; Madden, Nancy A.
Center for Research and Reform in Education
This guide summarizes "Effective Programs for Struggling Readers: A Best Evidence Synthesis," a research review conducted by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Research and Reform in Education. The purpose of the review was to evaluate the achievement outcomes of alternative approaches for struggling readers in grade K-5: (1) one-to-one tutoring; (2) small group tutorials; (3) classroom instructional process approaches; and (4) instructional technology. Study inclusion criteria for the review included the use of randomized or well-matched control groups, study duration of at least 12 weeks, and the use of valid measures independent of treatments. A total of 96 studies met these criteria. The key findings of the review were as follows: (1) One-to-one tutoring works. Teachers are more effective as tutors than teaching assistants 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 beyond this initial period; (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 instructional technology programs have little impact on reading. Taken together, the key findings of the review support a strong focus on improving classroom instruction followed by targeted, phonetic tutoring for students who continue to experience difficulties. A glossary is included.
Center for Research and Reform in Education. Available from: School of Education Johns Hopkins University. 200 West Towsontown Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21204. Tel: 410-616-2407; Fax: 410-324-4444; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Kindergarten
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE)