Never too late to help struggling readers

From around the middle of primary school, there is less emphasis on learning to read, and this has serious consequences for children who have not yet mastered the skill. A new article in the Review of Educational Research analyses the evidence on “extensive reading interventions” for pupils aged 10 to 18 with reading difficulties. These are long-term interventions (in this case 75 or more sessions), often developed as part of school-wide models for teaching literacy to younger pupils.

The authors conducted a systematic review of research from 1995 to 2011, with 19 studies meeting their inclusion criteria. Mean effect sizes ranged from 0.10 to 0.16 for comprehension, word reading, word reading fluency, reading fluency, and spelling outcomes. No significant differences in pupil outcomes were noted in terms of group size, relative number of hours of intervention, or year level of intervention. They conclude that accelerating reading growth in later years may be more challenging than in the earliest, but that it isn’t too late to help struggling readers.

Source: Extensive Reading Interventions for Students With Reading Difficulties After Grade 3 (2013), Review of Educational Research, 83(2).

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