WWC review of this study

Effects of tutoring in phonological and early reading skills on students at risk for reading disabilities.

Vadasy, P. F., Jenkins, J. R., & Pool, K. (2000). Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(6), 579–590. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ617957

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    46
     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 Johnson (WJ): Word Attack subtest

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

109.27

94.12

Yes

 
 
39
More Outcomes

Bryant Pseudoword Test

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

19.45

8.94

Yes

 
 
35

Yopp-Singer Test of Phoneme Segmentation

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

15.51

11.15

Yes

 
 
32

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

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

102.45

88.77

Yes

 
 
31

Dolch Word Recognition

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

144.74

102.67

Yes

 
 
29
Reading fluency outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Analytical Reading Inventory: Primary

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

45.36

29.42

No

 
 
21
More Outcomes

Analytical Reading Inventory: First Grade

Sound Partners vs. business as usual

posttest

Grade 1;
46 students

36.57

25.43

No

 
 
16

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 39%
    Male: 61%

  • Urban

Setting

Participants were from four elementary schools in an urban school district. At the schools, nearly half of the students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, Title I services were available to students, and two-thirds of students were racial or ethnic minorities.

Study sample

Vadasy, Jenkins, and Pool (2000) is a randomized controlled trial in which 46 first-graders from four elementary schools were randomly assigned to either participate in Sound Partners or receive the schools’ regular classroom instruction. Teachers in 11 classrooms identified up to 6 students each whose reading performance in the fall concerned them. The 64 students identified by the teachers were pretested on four assessments, and those with the 46 lowest scores were randomly assigned. The remaining 18 students were kept as replacement students. In the course of the study, the researchers replaced two treatment and two comparison students on the basis of convenience and scheduling considerations. The groups were balanced on gender (9 girls and 14 boys in each group). The study also examined second-year follow-up scores for a subsample of 37 students. This analysis is not included in this review, however, because the authors did not demonstrate that the intervention and comparison students included in the follow-up results were equivalent at baseline.

Intervention Group

In the study, tutoring took place for 27 weeks. Students attended from 54 to 89 sessions over this period, with an average of 72 sessions per child. The version of Sound Partners used for the study included additional, revised, or expanded components of a preceding version.

Comparison Group

Students in the counterfactual condition participated in the schools’ regular classroom and Title I reading instruction activities.

Outcome descriptions

For both pre- and posttests, the authors administered the Wide Range Achievement Test–Revised Reading subtest. For additional posttests, the authors used the Dolch Word Recognition, the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery–Revised Word Attack subtest, the Bryant Pseudoword Test, the Yopp-Singer Segmentation Task, and the primary and first-grade passages of the Analytical Reading Inventory. The authors also used two spelling assessments, but they were not included in this review because they are outside the scope of the Beginning Reading review protocol. For a more detailed description of the included outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1 and A2.2.

Support for implementation

The researchers recruited tutors through the school newsletters. Nine tutors participated in the study (mainly parents of children in the schools). Tutors received $5 per hour for their tutoring and training time, which included eight hours of training before the program began and six additional hours of training during the school year. Training for tutors consisted of explanations, modeling, role-playing of each lesson component, guidelines for behavior management, record keeping, and error correction strategies. Follow-up training occurred during the year by tutor request or when researchers identified a need. Researchers replaced two tutors in the middle of the year with one new tutor.

 

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