WWC review of this study

Relative effectiveness of reading practice or word-level instruction in supplemental tutoring: How text matters.

Vadasy, P. F., Sanders, E. A., & Peyton, J. A. (2005). Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(4), 364–380. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ695628

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    57
     Students
    , grade
    1
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: September 2010

Alphabetics outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Word Attack subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

110.1

96.6

Yes

 
 
38
More Outcomes

Wide Range Achievement Test- Revised (WRAT-R): Reading subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

99.4

86.3

Yes

 
 
34

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT–R): Word Identification subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

104.2

93.9

Yes

 
 
33

Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE): Sight Word Efficiency subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

91.6

85.8

No

 
 
22

Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE): Phonemic Decoding Efficiency subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

93.6

88.4

No

 
 
21
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Passage Comprehension subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

98.8

92.1

Yes

 
 
27
Reading fluency outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Passage Reading Accuracy

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

0.78

0.61

Yes

 
 
33
More Outcomes

Passage Reading Rate

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

Fall to Spring

Grade 1;
57 students

31.1

23.4

No

 
 
15

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 42% English language learners

  • Female: 42%
    Male: 58%
  • Race
    Black
    14%
    Not specified
    26%
    White
    40%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    19%
    Not Hispanic
    81%

  • Urban
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    West

Setting

The study includes 12 schools from a large, urban school district in the northwestern United States.

Study sample

This sample was drawn from 12 participating schools, six of which were assigned as treatment sites, five as control sites, and one that included both treatment and control students. During the first month of first grade, 22 teachers referred students they judged to be at risk for reading; in all, 99 first-graders met the criteria for participation, which included (1) parental consent, (2) not repeating first grade, and (3) scoring below the 25th percentile on the WRAT-R. Students at treatment sites were assigned to tutors based on schedules and availability. Of the 78 students completing all phases of the study, the authors chose 57 to be included in the analyses based on the comparability of their pretest scores. The authors selected students to analyze for two treatment groups and a control group by matching triads of students as closely as possible on a pretest composite score calculated by averaging the z-scores of all pretest scores. Both treatment groups received 30 minutes of tutoring, but one of the treatment groups spent 10 of the minutes in oral reading practice and the other did not. The WWC considers the two treatment groups to be variants of the Sound Partners intervention and so combines them into a single treatment group.

Intervention Group

In addition to regular classroom reading instruction, both intervention groups received supplementary individual tutoring using Sound Partners. Tutoring occurred for 30-minute sessions during the school day, four days a week, from October to May. One treatment group used Sound Partners phonics-based instruction for 15 to 20 minutes, followed by oral text reading practice in Bob Books® for the remaining 10 to 15 minutes. The other treatment group spent all 30 minutes using Sound Partners.

Comparison Group

The comparison students received regular classroom reading instruction only.

Outcome descriptions

Students were tested on a variety of measures, most of which are standardized tests. They included the WRAT-R Reading subtest; the WRMT-R/NU Word Attack, Word Identification, and Passage Comprehension subtests; the TOWRE Phonemic Decoding and Sight Word subtests; and a passage reading fluency test devised by the authors to measure the rate and accuracy at which students could read grade-appropriate texts. The authors also assessed spelling, but it is not included in this report because it is outside the scope of the Beginning Reading review protocol. For a more detailed description of the included outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.3.

Support for implementation

Nineteen paraprofessional tutors were hired and paid by the schools in which they worked. More than half of the tutors had at least one year of Sound Partners tutoring experience. Experienced tutors received about two hours of initial training, and new tutors received about four hours of training.

Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: February 2009

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 42% English language learners

  • Female: 58%
    Male: 42%
  • Race
    Black
    14%
    Not specified
    26%
    White
    40%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    19%
    Not Hispanic
    81%

  • Urban
 

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