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IES Grant

Title: Efficacy of Sound Partners Supplemental Tutoring for ELL Students, Grades K-1
Center: NCER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Vadasy, Patricia Awardee: Washington Research Institute
Program: Literacy      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,323,429
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305A070324
Description:

Purpose: One of the greatest challenges facing U.S. public schools today is to ensure that increasingly large numbers of English language learners become proficient readers. English language learners are the fastest growing population in U.S. schools, increasing 65 percent since 1994. In urban schools, English language learners account for 21 percent of students. To date, little research has been conducted to rigorously evaluate the effects of curricula intended to improve reading instruction for students who are also learning English.

The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of Sound Partners, a fully developed code-oriented supplemental reading intervention that is designed to be implemented by para-educators. Sound Partners is a published program that has been used with students at risk for reading disabilities. In this study, the research team is evaluating the effects of the program for improving reading outcomes for children in kindergarten and first grade who are English language learners.

Project Activities: The researchers will use a randomized design in which students who are English language learners are randomly assigned within classrooms to receive either Sound Partners supplemental tutoring or current instructional practice. Students in the intervention group will be individually tutored for 30 min/day, four days per week, for 20 weeks, in research-based, code-oriented instruction designed specifically for non-teacher implementation. Students will be assessed on four occasions (pretest, two intervention monitoring tests, and posttest) and will be followed on two additional occasions: one year out from intervention completion, and two years out from intervention completion. Instructional observations will be conducted of the para-educators and of the classroom teachers. Observation data will be triangulated with teacher self-report survey data completed by teachers. Trained testers will individually assess subjects.

Products: The primary outcome from this project is a report of the evaluation of a supplemental intervention program for English language learners.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of Sound Partners, a fully developed code-oriented supplemental reading intervention that is designed to be implemented by para-educators. In this study, the research team is evaluating the effects of the program for improving reading outcomes for children in kindergarten and first grade who are English language learners.

Setting: This study is taking place in 18 urban elementary schools in Washington State.

Population: Participants in the study will be English language learners in grades K–1 who are identified by their teachers and screened as at risk for reading disabilities.

Intervention: Students receiving the Sound Partners intervention are individually tutored for 30 min/day, four days per week, for 20 weeks, in research-based, code-oriented instruction designed specifically for implementation by para-educators.

Comparison Condition: Students in the comparison condition will receive the typical reading instruction provided to English language learners.

Research Design and Methods: Eligible students will be randomly assigned within classroom to receive one-on-one Sound Partners instruction or to be part of the comparison condition. Systematic observations will be conducted on classroom reading instruction in an estimated 60 classrooms to determine how dimensions of classroom instruction moderate effects of supplemental instruction, as well as influence reading outcomes for ELL classroom controls.

Key Measures: Alphabetic and reading outcomes will be assessed at posttest and both one and two years after receipt of the intervention. The researchers will assess receptive language and first and second language proficiency at pretest to characterize the sample and describe the influence of language skills on treatment response.

Data Analytic Strategy: Multilevel modeling will be used to account for within-classroom nesting, estimate growth on repeated measures, and account for missing data. Short- and long-term outcomes will be studied, including follow-up through grades two and three. Predictors of response to treatment will be examined, including student characteristics, tutoring fidelity, and features of classroom reading instruction.

Related IES Projects: A Replication Study to Examine the Efficacy of Sound Partners When Implemented by Peer Tutors (R305R220024)

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Vadasy, P.F., and Sanders, E.A. (2010). Efficacy of Supplemental Phonics-Based Instruction for Low-Skilled Kindergarteners in the Context of Language Minority Status and Classroom Phonics Instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(4): 786–803.

Vadasy, P.F., and Sanders, E.A. (2011). Efficacy of Supplemental Phonics-Based Instruction for Low-Skilled First Graders: How Language Minority Status and Pretest Characteristics Moderate Treatment Response. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(6): 471–497.

Vadasy, P.F., and Sanders, E.A. (2012). Two-Year Follow-Up of a Kindergarten Phonics Intervention for English Learners and Native English Speakers: Contextualizing Treatment Impacts by Classroom Literacy Instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(4): 987–1005.

Vadasy, P.F., and Sanders, E.A. (2013). Two-Year Follow-Up of a Code-Oriented Intervention for Lower-Skilled First-Graders: The Influence of Language Status and Word Reading Skills on Third-Grade Literacy Outcomes. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26(6): 821–843.


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