Title

Efficacy of a Word- and Text-Based Intervention for Students With Significant Reading Difficulties

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-23-2018

Keywords

Comprehension, Reading, Elementary, Age, Efficacy, Treatment

Organizational Units

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

Abstract

We examine the efficacy of an intervention to improve word reading and reading comprehension in fourth- and fifth-grade students with significant reading problems. Using a randomized control trial design, we compare the fourth- and fifth-grade reading outcomes of students with severe reading difficulties who were provided a researcher-developed treatment with reading outcomes of students in a business-as-usual (BAU) comparison condition. A total of 280 fourth- and fifth-grade students were randomly assigned within school in a 1:1 ratio to either the BAU comparison condition (n = 139) or the treatment condition (n = 141). Treatment students were provided small-group tutoring for 30 to 45 minutes for an average of 68 lessons (mean hours of instruction = 44.4, SD = 11.2). Treatment students performed statistically significantly higher than BAU students on a word reading measure (effect size [ES] = 0. 58) and a measure of reading fluency (ES = 0.46). Though not statistically significant, effect sizes for students in the treatment condition were consistently higher than BAU students for decoding measures (ES = 0.06, 0.08), and mixed for comprehension (ES = -0.02, 0.14).

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