Improving reading outcomes for pupils with or at risk of reading problems

The US Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has released a new synthesis of research on improving reading outcomes for pupils with or at risk of reading problems. The purpose of the review is to describe what has been learned specifically from IES-funded research grants. A total of 111 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters that were products of 48 research projects are examined. A few key findings, which are grouped into four domains, are as follows:

  • Assessment: Screening all children’s reading skills (ie, universal screening) at the beginning of the school year, especially in the early years, can be a valid and efficient process to identify children who are at risk of reading difficulties.
  • Basic cognitive and linguistic processes: Malleable linguistic processes, such as oral language skills and vocabulary, positively predict children’s reading performance.
  • Intervention: Language outcomes for many preschool children at risk for language delays can improve if they are provided extensive opportunities to hear and use complex oral language.
  • Professional development: Developing teachers’ specialised knowledge and supporting consistent long-term implementation of research-based teaching strategies can improve delivery of complex, evidence-based teaching and interventions.

Source: Improving Reading Outcomes for Students with or at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Synthesis of the Contributions from the Institute of Education Sciences Research Centers (2014), Institute of Education Sciences.

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