WWC review of this study

Beginning Reading by Teaching in Rime Analogy: Effects on Phonological Skills, Letter-Sound Knowledge, Working Memory, and Word-Reading Strategies. [Letter recoding vs. control]

Walton, Patrick D.; Walton, Lona M. (2002). Scientific Studies of Reading, v6 n1 p79-115 . Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ647018

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: February 2023

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Letter identification outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement


Letter recoding instruction—Walton and Walton (2002) vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

Analogy RIL vs Control;
32 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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The study was implemented in schools in a medium sized city in British Columbia, located in areas with varying socioeconomic conditions. All sessions were conducted in subgroups of 2 to 4 children delivered in a spare room near the classroom.

Intervention Group

The researchers began teaching sessions by providing 1-2 minutes of direct instruction. Next, students played a cooperative game designed to provide experience with the skill taught during direct instruction. In the Analogy RIL treatment group, researchers recorded the time spent on the rime analogy strategy and three pre reading skills (rhyming, initial phoneme identification, and letter-sounds knowledge) and sought to ensure that equal time was spent on each. --Add-on or stand-alone intervention: The intervention were stand-alone sessions delivered as a supplement to regular classroom instruction. --Number of lessons, frequency, and duration: Students received two intervention sessions each week for ten weeks. Each session lasted 25 minutes. --Home component: There was no home component --Intervention implementer: Study researchers implemented the intervention. No information is provided about the researchers. The number of researchers who delivered sessions is unclear, as the study uses both singular and plural nouns to refer to study implementers. --Materials used: The intervention involved use of 16 cooperative games. --Scripted: The intervention does not appear to be scripted. --Formative assessment: The intervention did not appear to include any formative assessments. For study 2, in the Analogy treatment group, researchers focused exclusively on rime analogy reading strategy. In the RIL group, researchers focused only on the three pre reading skills (rhyming initial phoneme identification, and letter-sounds knowledge). In the RL group, researchers taught rhyming and letter–sounds. In the IL group, researchers taught initial phoneme identity and letter–sounds.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group in Study 1 received 25 minute long small group sessions (2-4 students per group) that were delivered twice a week. During the sessions, the study author read storybooks selected by the students from the classroom. The researcher encouraged students to interactively discuss the stories but did not direct students' attention to text in the books, unless requested by the students. There was no control group for Study 2.


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