Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Improving Adolescent Reading Comprehension: A Multi-Strategy Reading Intervention
Center: NCER Year: 2004
Principal Investigator: Hock, Michael Awardee: University of Kansas
Program: Reading and Writing      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,367,309
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305G040011

Purpose: The fact that 26% of our adolescents read below basic level is fast becoming common knowledge and is consistently discussed in the media, at professional conferences, and in a variety of political venues. Adolescents from minority groups, those who live in poverty, and those with disabilities are even more disadvantaged in terms of literacy attainment. For example, over half of all 12th grade Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians perform at the below basic level on reading assessments.

We propose to address the overarching goal of significantly closing the gap between current and expected performance on outcome measures of reading proficiency including measures of adequate yearly progress (AYP) called for by No Child Left Behind. Hence, the focus of this research project will be on those high school adolescents with limited reading proficiency, who fall within this range of performance.

Population: The population from which participants will be sampled include 9th and

10th grade students from two Kansas City, Kansas high schools. The study will include a population in which 65% of the students receive free or reduced lunch, 47% of the students are African American, and 22% are Hispanic. 6% of the student population has been classified as having a learning disability in the area of reading. 73% of the students read at the unsatisfactory or basic levels according to the Kansas State Assessments administered in the spring of 2003. Approximately 200 students will participate in the study.

Intervention: This proposal involves teaching 9th and 10th grade struggling readers skills and strategies that will significantly enhance their reading performance. Students will receive instruction in strategies for increasing reading motivation, decoding, word identification, and fluency. Additionally, reading comprehension strategies for vocabulary, paraphrasing, summarizing, generating questions, inferencing, and recognizing text structures will be taught. Cooperative learning activities will be used to extend student practice and feedback opportunities. The strategies will be developed and "bundled" in two main packages. The first bundle, called "The Bridging Program" will include decoding, word identification, vocabulary, and fluency strategies. The second bundle called, "The Comprehension Program" will include additional vocabulary strategies and four to six specific comprehension strategies. Both strategy programs will make up the core curriculum in a four-semester high school reading class.

Research Design and Methods: The research design for the 9th and 10th grade studies will be experimental with random assignment of students to experimental and control conditions. Within the existing small learning community structure of both high schools, students will be randomly assigned to receive the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning reading strategy intervention course or the district's existing reading intervention. Students in both conditions will receive four semesters of reading instruction over the course of the study.

Data Analytic Strategies: In Year 3, hierarchical linear modeling and structural equation modeling will address the longitudinal effects of the multistrategy instruction; the effects of the instruction on specific subgroups of learners (e.g., low SES, race/ethnicity, English Language Learners, students with disabilities); and the relationship of student reading proficiency to performance on specific measures of decoding, word identification, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Hock, M.F., Brasseur, I.F., Deshler, D.D., Catts, H.W., Marques, J.G., Mark, C.A., and Stribling, J.W. (2009). What is the Reading Component Skill Profile of Adolescent Struggling Readers in Urban Schools?. Learning Disability Quarterly, 31(2): 21–38.

Hock, M.F., Brasseur-Hock, I.F., Hock, A. J., and Duvel, B. (2017). The Effects of a Comprehensive Reading Program on Reading Outcomes for Middle School Students With Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50(2), 195–212.