The study was conducted in three schools in a suburban school district located in western Orange County, California. The intervention (Read Naturally®) and comparison
(SSSR) conditions were implemented in each classroom.
A randomized controlled trial was used to examine the effects of Read Naturally® on third-grade reading performance. A total of 42 English language learners, from three
elementary schools across 13 classrooms, initially participated in the study. Students in each participating classroom were ranked by standardized tests of reading and then
randomly assigned to either the Read Naturally® intervention group or the scaffolded sustained silent reading (SSSR) comparison group. Of the 42 original students, 21 were
assigned to the Read Naturally® group and 21 were assigned to the SSSR group. Three students were excluded from the study because they were receiving special education
services. The analysis sample consisted of 39 English language learners; 20 students in the intervention group, and 19 students in the comparison group.
The Read Naturally® Masters Edition program was implemented four days per week for 20 minutes a day during the months of October through January. Read Naturally®
consists of teaching modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring for the purpose of promoting fluency. Students are assigned to instructional level reading materials.
When participating in the program, students (1) practice a “cold reading” of a self-selected passage from their assigned reading level, (2) practice reading the same passage
three or four times with an audio recorded model, (3) practice reading independently until they reach their timed goal, and (4) meet with the classroom teacher so a timed
reading sample can be documented.
Students in the comparison condition participated in scaffolded sustained silent reading (SSSR), which involved teaching students to select materials at their individual reading
level. Students then engaged in independent, silent reading. Teachers did not provide significant feedback; they walked around the room and monitored whether or not
students were documenting the number of pages they read. As in the case of Read Naturally®, use of SSSR occurred from October through January, four days a week, for 20
minutes each day.
Study measures in the reading achievement domain included the Test of Oral Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) Sight Word and Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtests; the
Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency subtest; the Stanford Diagnostic Reading test, 4th Edition, Vocabulary and Comprehension
subtests; the Orthographic Choice test; and the Morphological Relatedness Test (MRT), Written and Oral/Written versions. All measures were administered at pre- and posttest.
(For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.2.)
Support for implementation
Thirteen general education teachers received training on both the Read Naturally® program and the use of SSSR. No additional details were provided.