WWC review of this study

Reciprocal teaching improves standardized reading-comprehension performance in poor comprehenders.

Lysynchuk, L. M., Pressley, M., & Vye, N. J. (1990). Elementary School Journal, 90(5), 469–484. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ409158

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    36
     Students
    , grades
    4-7

Reviewed: September 2010

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Daily Questions

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
36 students

60.14

49.08

No

--
More Outcomes

Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS): Vocabulary subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
36 students

40.62

31.44

No

--

Metropolitan Achievement Test: Comprehension subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
36 students

37.34

28.33

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Comprehension subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 7;
36 students

32.56

24.89

No

--

Daily Questions

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 7;
36 students

45.03

41.53

No

--

Daily Retelling

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
36 students

25.07

22.90

No

--

Daily Retelling

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 7;
36 students

8.17

8.86

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Vocabulary subtest

Reciprocal Teaching vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 7;
36 students

19.44

30.89

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

  • Female: 44%
    Male: 56%

Setting

The study was conducted in eight schools in Canada.

Study sample

Thirty-six fourth-grade students enrolled in six schools and 36 seventh-grade students enrolled in two schools participated in the study. Study participants were nominated by their teachers as students with adequate decoding skills (able to decode at least 80% of the words at their grade level as measured by their performance on the Diagnostic Reading Scales) but poor comprehension skills (scoring below the 50th percentile on the comprehension subtest of the Metropolitan Achievement Test for fourth grade, or the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test for seventh grade). All participants were English-speaking Canadians. Students were ranked according to their pretest comprehension scores and then placed into pairs starting with the two lowest-scoring students and ending with the two highest-scoring students. Students within each pair were then randomly assigned to either the control group or the reciprocal teaching group. At the beginning of the study, participants in the treatment and control groups had comparable reading comprehension scores. The grade 4 analysis sample included 18 students who received reciprocal teaching and 18 control group students. The grade 7 analysis sample also consisted of 18 students who received reciprocal teaching and 18 control group students.

Intervention Group

The intervention incorporated all the features of reciprocal teaching as described by Palincsar and Brown (1984), but the instruction lasted only 13 days instead of the recom-mended 15–20 days.

Comparison Group

Students in the control group were exposed to the same materials as students in the reciprocal teaching group but were not exposed to the strategy instruction that is part of the reciprocal teaching approach.

Outcome descriptions

For both the pretest and posttest, students in grade 4 took the comprehension subtest of the Metropolitan Achievement test and the vocabulary subtest of the Canadian Test of Basic Skills. Students in grade 7 took the comprehension and vocabulary subtests of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test. Additional researcher-designed assessments, called the “Daily Retelling” and “Daily Questions” assessments, measured student comprehension after the first half and second half of each day’s instruction. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix A2.

Support for implementation

No information on teacher training was provided in this study.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Lysynchuk, L., Pressley, M., & Vye, N. J. (1989, March). Reciprocal instruction improves standardized reading comprehension performance in poor grade-school comprehenders. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

 

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