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A Meta-Analysis of the Long-Term Effects of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, and Reading Comprehension Interventions

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Much is known about short-term-but very little about the long-term-effects of reading interventions. To rectify this, a detailed analysis of follow-up effects as a function of intervention, sample, and methodological variables was conducted. A total of 71 intervention-control groups were selected (N = 8,161 at posttest) from studies reporting posttest and follow-up data (M = 11.17 months) for previously established reading interventions. The posttest effect sizes indicated effects (dw = 0.37) that decreased to follow-up (dw = 0.22). Overall, comprehension and phonemic awareness interventions showed good maintenance of effect that transferred to nontargeted skills, whereas phonics and fluency interventions, and those for preschool and kindergarten children, tended not to. Several methodological features also related to effect sizes at follow-up, namely experimental design and dosage, and sample attrition, risk status, and gender balance.
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... One additional research meta-analysis (Galuschka et al., 2020) investigated the immediate effects of spelling instruction on spelling outcomes for students with reading or spelling difficulties. Other rigorous reviews have been conducted as well, but they (a) focused only on comprehension outcomes (Denton et al., 2022;Hwang et al., 2021); (b) focused only on follow-up effects measured after the conclusion of the intervention (Suggate, 2016); (c) only included particular types of reading interventions (e.g., branded or unbranded Orton-Gillingham interventions; Ritchey & Goeke, 2006;Stevens et al., 2021); (d) included students in middle or high school (Flynn et al., 2012;Scammacca et al., 2015Scammacca et al., , 2016Wanzek et al., 2013); (e) focused on a different or narrower subset of students, such as English learners (Cheung & Slavin, 2012;Ludwig et al., 2019;Richards-Tutor et al., 2016;Roberts, Hall, et al., 2021); or (f) primarily explored associations between student characteristics and intervention effects (Al Otaiba & Fuchs, 2002;Stuebing et al., 2015;Tran et al., 2011). ...
... Finally, we completed an ancestral search of articles included in relevant literature reviews conducted in the last 5 years (Gersten et al., 2020;Suggate, 2016;Wanzek et al., 2016Wanzek et al., , 2018. After an initial review of abstracts, the team reviewed the full text of 82 articles; 14 additional peer-reviewed articles met inclusion criteria and were coded. ...
Article
This meta‐analysis included experimental or quasi‐experimental intervention studies conducted between 1980 and 2020 that aimed to improve reading outcomes for Grade K‐5 students with or at risk for dyslexia (i.e., students with or at risk for word reading difficulties, defined as scoring at or below norm‐referenced screening or mean baseline performance thresholds articulated in our inclusion criteria). In all, 53 studies reported in 52 publications met inclusion criteria (m = 351; total student N = 6,053). We employed robust variance estimation to address dependent effect sizes arising from multiple outcomes and comparisons within studies. Results indicated a statistically significant main effect of instruction on norm‐referenced reading outcomes (g = 0.33; p < .001). Because there was significant heterogeneity in effect sizes across studies (p < .01), we used meta‐regression to identify the degree to which student characteristics (i.e., grade level), intervention characteristics (i.e., dosage, instructional components, multisensory nature, instructional group size), reading outcome domain (i.e., phonological awareness, word reading/spelling, passage reading, or reading comprehension), or research methods (i.e., sample size, study design) influenced intervention effects. Dosage and reading outcome domain were the only variables that significantly moderated intervention effects (p = .040 and p = .024, respectively), with higher dosage studies associated with larger effects (b = 0.002) and reading comprehension outcomes associated with smaller effects than word reading/spelling outcomes (b = −0.080). This meta‐analysis included experimental or quasi‐experimental intervention studies conducted between 1980 and 2020 that aimed to improve reading outcomes for Grade K‐5 students with or at risk for dyslexia (i.e., students with or at risk for word reading difficulties, defined as scoring at or below norm‐referenced screening or mean baseline performance thresholds articulated in our inclusion criteria).
... This ambiguity of findings supports the need for additional research into potential gender differences in reading fluency and accuracy, particularly in primary education level. Reading entails both decoding written words and comprehending their meaning (Suggate, 2016). Such a complex process highlights the task's difficulty as well as the importance of encouraging the automation of the deciphering process in order to free the child to comprehend what he or she is reading (Schwanenflugel et al., 2006). ...
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The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted face-to-face teaching, having a significant impact on the teaching-learning process. As a result, many students spent less time reading (and learning to read) than they did during face-to-face instruction, requiring the use of alternative approaches of instruction. A combined online and peer tutoring intervention was designed to improve reading skills such as fluency and accuracy. Following a quasi-experimental design, this study sought to evaluated the impact of implementing an online peer tutoring intervention on the development of reading fluency and accuracy in a sample of 91 2nd and 4th graders (49.6% female). Children were aged 6–10 years old (M = 7.81, SD = 1.10) and were enrolled in five classrooms (A, B, C, D, and E) from three schools in the Portuguese district of Porto, between January and May 2021. A set of 10 texts were chosen from official textbooks to assess reading fluency and accuracy. Classes were evaluated in three moments: initial (pre-intervention), intermediate (after 10 sessions) and final (post-test, after other 10 sessions). In order to examine the effects of the intervention, there was a 8-week lag between the start of the intervention in classes A, B, and C (experimental group) and classes D and E (control group). Moreover, classes D and E started intervention with a gap of 5 weeks between them. Students in the experimental group registered significant higher improvements in reading accuracy and fluency than in the control group. Interaction effects revealed that students with an initial lower performance (i.e., at the frustration level) showed higher increases in reading accuracy. Furthermore, 2nd graders showed higher increases throughout the intervention while the 4th graders stablished their progress after the first 10 sessions of intervention. Despite the study’s limitations, the findings support the positive impact that online peer tutoring can have on promoting students’ reading skills, adding to the ongoing discussion—which has gained a special emphasis with the COVID-19 pandemic—about the development of effective strategies to promote reading abilities in the first years of school.
... Übereinstimmend hiermit zeigt eine phonologisch-orientierte Förderung positive Effekte auf komplexere schriftsprachliche Fertigkeiten, wie eine regelorientierte Rechtschreibung und das Leseverständnis (McArthur et al., 2018). In den ersten Grundschuljahren eingesetzt erzeugen phonologisch orientierte Förderprogramme größere Trainingseffekte als in der späten Grundschulzeit (Suggate, 2016). Sie sind daher besonders zur schriftsprachlichen Förderung im Anfangsunterricht geeignet. ...
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Zusammenfassung. Hintergrund: In Deutschland zeigen etwa 18 Prozent aller Grundschulkinder Defizite im Schriftspracherwerb. Ein möglichst früher Förderbeginn kann negativen Folgen für den Bildungsverlauf und die psychische Gesundheit der Kinder entgegenwirken. Mit Lautarium steht ein computerbasiertes, schriftsprachliches Förderprogramm zur Verfügung, das ein Training der Phonemwahrnehmung, phonologischen Bewusstheit und Graphem-Phonem-Zuordnung mit einem schriftsprachlichen Training kombiniert. Die Wirksamkeit konnte bereits in nicht-randomisierten Studien belegt werden. Methoden: In der randomisierten Studie wurde Lautarium zu Beginn der zweiten Klasse bei Kindern mit Lese-Rechtschreibschwierigkeiten eingesetzt. Die Trainingsgruppe ( N = 43) trainierte zehn Wochen im schulischen Unterricht (5 x pro Woche für ca. 30 Minuten), während die Kontrollgruppe ( N = 43) am regulären Unterricht teilnahm. Ergebnisse: Im Posttest zeigten sich signifikante Trainingserfolge in geringer bis mittlerer Effektstärke für die phonologische Bewusstheit sowie die Lese- und Rechtschreibleistungen. Die Trainingseffekte lassen sich damit in einem randomisierten Design replizieren. Befragte Lehrkräfte berichteten eine motivierte und selbstständige Durchführung und schätzten das Anforderungsniveau der Übungsspiele als adäquat ein. Diskussion: Die Ergebnisse belegen die Wirksamkeit einer grapho-phonologischen Förderung für Kinder, die bereits zu Beginn der schriftsprachlichen Entwicklung Minderleistungen zeigen.
... (para 2) Examining research related to the most contested topic in the report, phonics, reveals that literacy research throughout decades generally conrmed that the ability to recognize letters of the alphabet and the ability to discriminate sounds in words (phonemic awareness) are the best predictor of later reading achievement (Bond & Dykstra, 1967) and that phonics can bring some positive value in early literacy development (Morrone, 1958;Tif n & McKinnis, 1940). At the same time, a recent meta-analysis examining how phonics compares to other kinds of instructional interventions, for example, phonemic awareness, uency, and comprehension interventions, on measures of reading, reading comprehension, and spelling, demonstrated that phonics had the lowest long-term outcomes (Suggate, 2016). The authors additionally concluded that "phonemic awareness interventions appeared better than phonics" and comprehension interventions "appeared particularly effective" especially in grade 3 and beyond (p. ...
Chapter
Reading is the most legislated area of education, and there is no aspect of reading instruction that is more often debated, discussed, or disagreed upon than early reading instruction. This chapter traces legislative changes that track the development of policies that both set and limit what counts as good or appropriate instruction in U.S. public schools. This analysis illuminates how dueling perspectives on early literacy learning have aligned and realigned with other political interests, social movements, and legislative agendas. The artifacts and commentary presented provide a bird’s-eye view of an often-baffling, but highly publicized debate in order to create a historical and analytic perspective on current and future iterations of persistent questions about who becomes literate in U.S. public schools.KeywordsCurriculumEarly literacyDevelopmentally appropriate practicePhonicsInstruction
... In recent years, much debate has been stirred regarding the aetiology of reading problems (e.g., Suggate, 2016). However, building on the SVR, there is a general agreement that decoding and language comprehension are necessary for successful reading comprehension and that problems with these skills can lead to problems with reading comprehension. ...
Thesis
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Chapter
Digital games for learning have been introduced as a motivating way for children to learn as they can provide immediate feedback, embed the learning content in an attractive narrative, and adapt item difficulty to learners’ performance in the game. Although studies showed positive benefits of using digital educational games compared to other teaching methods, a systematic assessment of the effectiveness of digital games for learning is lacking. In this paper, we reflect on two intervention studies in which we investigated the effectiveness of digital games for learning with integrated adaptivity. Based on this work, we propose an extension of the framework of All and colleagues [5] for assessing digital games for learning including cognitive, noncognitive, and efficiency outcomes. We added aspects of study design that need to be considered such as learner, intervention, and measurement characteristics. The validation and adoption of this framework may contribute to more standardized procedures to assess the effectiveness of digital games for learning.KeywordsDigital games for learningEffectivenessMethodologies
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We describe the rationale for‐ and content of‐ a freely available, novel, theoretically driven and evidence‐based approach to improving the teaching of word reading in reception classrooms called ‘Flexible Phonics’. Flexible Phonics (FP) adds measurable value to‐, rather than wholly replacing, existing synthetic phonics programmes. The rationale underpinning the FP approach concerns the need for multi‐componential, maximally efficient, and truly generative approaches to allow early independence in reading for all children that apply to all words in the opaque spelling system of English. Building from these three principles, contemporary reading theory and evidence from cognitive science, linguistics and scaled educational implementation research, FP embodies a 5‐element intervention differentiated to children's current attainment levels. FP augments mandated synthetic phonics through use of quality real books allowing ‘Direct Mapping’ of taught grapheme‐phoneme correspondences, targeted oral vocabulary teaching, strategy‐instruction on ‘Set‐for‐Variability’ and targeted preventative intervention for the most at‐risk readers to then access wider FP content. Implications for policy and enhanced professional practice in English schools are considered.
Thesis
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Les AA. ont evalue l'efficacite de la reeducation en lecture dans dix ecoles primaires de la Nouvelle Galles de Sud. Repartis en deux groupes (reeducation en lecture et situation controle), les eleves en difficulte de lecture ont effectue des tests de competences a plusieurs reprises. L'efficacite de la reeducation en lecture n'est alors plus aussi pertinente
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Reports the reading achievement during grades 1-4 of children who participated in a 2-year, pre-first grade language arts program. It also compares their achievement with that of classmates who did not participate in the program but who had attended kindergartens in which some attention went to numeral and letter naming and to the development of a small reading vocabulary. For each of the 4 years, the reading achievement of experimental subjects exceeded that of the control group. With reading test raw scores as the experimental variable and intelligence-test raw scores as the covariate, an analysis of covariance indicated that the differences in grades 1 and 2 were large enough to be significant beyond the .05 level. In grades 3 and 4, this was not the case. For both experimental and control groups, correlation coefficients for reading achievement and chronological age were always small and non-significant. T-tests indicated that differences in intelligence test scores for the 2 groups of subjects were also non-significant./// [French] Rapporte l'aptitude à la lecture pendant les années scholaires l à 4 d'enfants qui ont pris part à un programme d'arts linguistiques. Ce programme a été régi pendant les 2 années qui précèdent l'entrée officielle de ces enfants à l'école primaire. L'étude compare aussi l'habileté de ce groupe avec celle de leurs camarades de classe qui, n'ayant pas participé dans le programme, ont fréquenté des écoles maternelles où l'on a reconnu l'importance de la connaissance des chiffres et de l'alphabet, et où l'on a essayé de développer un vocabulaire sommaire de lecture. Pour chacune des 4 années, la capacité de lecture parmi les sujets expérimentaux a dépassé celle du groupe de contrôle. Avec les cotes brutes des épreuves de lecture comme variable expérimentale, et avec les cotes brutes des épreuves d'intelligence comme covariant, une analyse de covariance a indiqué que les différences entre la première et la deuxième année étaient considérables au point d'être statistiquement significatives au-dela du niveau .05. Pour les troisième et quatrième années, ce n'était pas le cas. Chez le groupe expérimental ainsi que chez le groupe de contrôle, les coefficients de correlation pour l'aptitude à la lecture et pour l'âge chronologique étaient de même minimes et insignifiants. Des tests T ont démontré que les différences dans les résultats des épreuves d'intelligence pour les 2 groupes de sujets étaient elles aussi négligeables./// [Spanish] Informa sobre los alcances en el aprendizaje de la lectura durante los grados 1-4, de niños que participaron en un programa de artes del lenguaje de dos años de duración, correspondientes a la etapa previa al primer grado. Asimismo, compara los alcances de estos niños con respecto a condiscípulos que no habían participado en el programa, pero que habían asistido al jardín de infantes, donde se prestaba cierta atención a la denominación de números y letras y al desarrollo de un reducido vocabulario de lectura. Para cada uno de los 4 años, los alcances en la lectura de los sujetos experimentales, excedían a aquellos del grupo de control. Tomando los resultados brutos de la prueba de lectura como variable experimental, y los resultados brutos de la prueba de inteligencia como covariable, el análisis de covariancia indicó que las diferencias en los grados 1 y 2 eran lo suficientemente grandes como para considerarlas significativas más allá del nivel .05. Este no fue el caso para los grados 3 y 4. Tanto para el grupo experimental como para el grupo de control, los coeficientes de correlación para los alcances en la lectura y la edad cronológica, fueron siempre pequeños y no significativos. Las pruebas del tipo "T", indicaron que las diferencias en los resultados de la prueba de inteligencia para los 2 grupos de sujetos, también fueron no significativas.
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The response-to-intervention model is predicated upon increasingly intensive tiers of instruction. The aim of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a Tier-2 small-group literacy intervention (‘MiniLit’) designed for young readers who are still struggling after experiencing whole-class initial instruction. A total of 22 students in Kindergarten and Year 2 at a New South Wales public school were randomly allocated to form two comparable groups. The experimental group received the Tier-2 small-group literacy intervention for one hour per day for four days per week for three school terms (27 weeks of instruction) while the control group continued to receive regular whole-class literacy instruction during this time. All students were assessed on four measures of reading and related skills before the intervention commenced, again after two terms of instruction and once more after three terms of instruction. Large and statistically significant mean differences between the two groups were evident at post-test on two of the four tests employed measuring phonological recoding and single word reading. Large effect sizes provided evidence for the efficacy of the small-group intervention for young struggling readers.
Article
The current study follows a sample of lower skilled language minority (LM) and native English-speaking (non-LM) students who participated in an efficacy trial of a kindergarten phonics-based intervention. Follow-up procedures allowed 93% of the original sample to be retained for simple treatment effects modeling (N = 78 LM and N = 59 non-LM) and 72% to be retained for classroom instruction modeling (N = 62 LM and N = 44 non-LM). Simple treatment effects on longer term outcomes were detected on word reading, spelling, and comprehension outcomes for LM students (approximate effect sizes averaged 0.27); comparatively, treatment effects for non-LM students were detected on all outcomes, including fluency (approximate effect sizes averaged 0.54). Instructional model results showed that greater time in Grade 1 word study instruction and Grade 2 meaning instruction was associated with higher reading scores for LM students at the end of second grade, irrespective of experimental condition. For non-LM children, greater time in Grade 1 meaning instruction was connected with higher reading scores at the end of Grade 2, irrespective of experimental condition. Finally, kindergarten intervention effects tended to be greater for both LM and non-LM students who received more Grade 1 word study instruction and more Grade 2 meaning instruction. Limitations and practical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)