WWC review of this study

Effectiveness of Reading First for English language learners: Comparison of two programs (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University, 2008).

Frasco, R. D. (2008). Dissertation Abstracts International, 69(03A), 141–879.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    34
     Students
    , grade
    1
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2010

English language development outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT-III)

Read Well® vs. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill 2003

12 weeks

Grade 1;
34 students

89.12

81.41

No

 
 
21
Reading achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test, Fourth Edition (GORT-4)

Read Well® vs. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill 2003

12 weeks

Grade 1;
34 students

12

12.06

No

--
More Outcomes

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Nonsense Words Fluency subtest

Read Well® vs. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill 2003

12 weeks

Grade 1;
34 students

72

73.35

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • 80% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 41%
    Male: 59%

  • Rural
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    Colorado

Setting

The study took place in a rural elementary school in eastern Colorado. English language learners constituted 61% of the school population. Eighty-two percent of the study body qualified for free and reduced-price lunch during the 2007–08 academic school year.

Study sample

The study was based on 36 first-grade English language learner students. Seventeen of these students were randomly assigned to the Read Well ® intervention group and 19 were assigned to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill control group. Two students attrited from the control group, resulting in 17 intervention group students and 17 control group students for a total of 34 students in the analysis sample. Overall attrition was 5.6% and differential attrition was 10.5%.

Intervention Group

For approximately three months, students received a minimum of 90 minutes of daily instruction in Read Well ® 1, which was utilized as their core reading program. The pacing depended on the level of mastery for each individual participant, allowing students to accelerate or slow down according to their grasp of the material.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group were taught reading using Macmillan/McGraw-Hill 2003 core reading program and also received 90 minutes of daily instruction. The pacing of the program is based on completing a story weekly, with intervention provided for students after giving the unit test during Week 6 of each unit. This study encompassed two skills-based units, or 12 weeks of instruction. Teachers used lesson maps and templates that included recommendations for where to replace or add activities for struggling readers such as English language learner students.

Outcome descriptions

Study measures in the reading achievement domain included the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Nonsense Word Fluency Subtest and Gray’s Oral Reading Test–Fourth Edition (GORT-4). Study measures in the English language development domain included the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Third Edition (PPVT-III). The study also reports results on the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) that are excluded from this report, since the test measures phonemic awareness, which is not part of any English Language Learners domain. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.2.

Support for implementation

Three teachers and four instructional aides were involved in the study. Teachers and instructional aides received professional development to implement the program.

 

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