WWC review of this study

The effectiveness of a group reading instruction program with poor readers in multiple grades.

Rashotte, C. A., MacPhee, K., & Torgesen, J. K. (2001). Learning Disability Quarterly, 24(2), 119–134. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ634979

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    47
     Students
    , grades
    5-6
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: September 2016

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

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery: Work Attack

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

98.1

84.4

Yes

 
 
49
More Outcomes

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Segmenting Words subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

105

84.4

Yes

 
 
47

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

105.6

90.3

Yes

 
 
40

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

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

86.3

80.8

No

 
 
23

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery: Letter word identification

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

93.9

90.9

No

 
 
15

Schonell Spelling test

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

43.1

47.7

No

--

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phoneme Elision subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

91.2

81.6

No

--

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

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

86.5

92.7

No

--
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Comprehension subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

94.4

91.6

No

 
 
24
More Outcomes

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB): Comprehension subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

104.2

97.8

No

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

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Rate subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

81.8

81.6

No

 
 
21
More Outcomes

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Accuracy subtest

Spell Read Phonological Auditory Training (P.A.T.) vs. Business as usual

Grade: 5, 6;
33 students

96.5

94.7

No

 
 
10

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

Setting

A public elementary school in a disadvantaged community in Newfoundland, Canada.

Study sample

The 33 students in the sample discussed in this SRG are in fifth and sixth grades in a public elementary school in Newfoundland, Canada. The study was conducted in English. Thirty percent of the students in the full sample are designated as learning disabled, and I assume that this proportion is equivalent in the grades 5 and 6 subgroup. The overall school population contains a high proportion of students from socially and economically disadvantaged families with low adult literacy. Reading scores for the school were below the average for the district and nationwide.

Intervention Group

Students in the treatment group left the classroom during regular classroom language arts period to receive group instruction. Instruction group size ranged from 3-5 students from the same grade level. Sessions were 50 minutes daily for total of 35 hours. Each 50 minute session involved 30 minutes of phonemic activities, 15 minutes of share reading, and 5-6 minutes of free writing. Share reading means taking turns reading out loud and stopping and discussing what was just read for comprehension reinforcement.

Comparison Group

Sixty minutes per day of language instruction period was devoted to reading with another 15 minutes used for silent reading or buddy reading with a lower grade. Reading instruction relied on a combination of basal reading and study of novels. The average classroom size was 15 students.

Support for implementation

Three teachers and one supervisor delivered the group instruction for the intervention group. The supervisor had no college education, but had two years experience instructing using the curriculum. One of the three teachers had a teaching certificate. Neither of the non-certified teachers had prior teaching experience and the other had two years of college. Each teacher was screened to ensure acceptable phonological skills and then participated in the Spell Read teacher training program, which involved an intensive six-day program delivered by Spell Read personnel.

Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: January 2013

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

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Segmenting Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

99.7

84.4

Yes

 
 
49
More Outcomes

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

102.3

84.4

Yes

 
 
49

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

104.6

90.3

Yes

 
 
46

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

86.8

80.8

Yes

 
 
31

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

93.9

90.9

No

 
 
24

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phoneme Elision subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

84.7

81.6

No

 
 
19

Schonell Spelling test

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

50.3

47.7

No

--

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

91.6

92.7

No

--
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

100.7

91.6

No

 
 
24
More Outcomes

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

100.5

97.8

No

 
 
17
Reading fluency outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Rate subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

89.8

81.6

Yes

 
 
32
More Outcomes

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Accuracy subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 5-6;
33 students

98.8

94.7

No

 
 
15

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

  • Female: 47%
    Male: 53%
  • Race
    White
    100%

Setting

The study took place in an elementary school in Newfoundland, Canada.

Study sample

The study included 116 students from grades 1–6 with below-average phonetic decoding and word-level reading skills (as measured by the Word Attack and Word Identification subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test–Revised [WRMT-R]). This WWC report focuses on 33 fifth- and sixth-grade students. Students were matched on phonemic decoding and word-level skills at each grade level, with one of each pair randomly assigned to SpellRead™, and the other assigned to the comparison condition. Most of the students in the sample were from low-income families, and all were White.

Intervention Group

SpellRead™ was implemented in small groups of three to five students outside of the regular classroom. The comparison group remained in class during this period receiving the regular reading program. The students received 31–35 hours of the program over eight weeks. Each lesson consisted of 30 minutes of phonemic activities, 15 minutes of shared reading, and 5–6 minutes of free reading. The phonemic activities included unscripted lessons with sound cards such as using single sounds (shown on two sound cards /sh/ and /oo/) to form the whole syllable (shoo). New phonemic and phonetic skills were practiced during shared reading, followed by a free writing time to write about what they read.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group participated in the school’s regular literacy-based reading program. The regular classroom teachers did not have training in phonetics. After the posttest assessment, the comparison group was given the SpellRead™ program, while the intervention group was given no further SpellRead™ instruction.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcomes in the alphabetics domain were the Word Identification and Word Attack subtests of the WRMT-R; the Phonemic Decoding Efficiency and Sight Word Efficiency subtests of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE); the Elision, Blending Words, and Segmenting Words subtests of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP); and the Schonell Spelling test. The primary outcomes in the reading fluency domain were the Word Accuracy and Rate subtests of the Gray Oral Reading Test, Third Edition (GORT-3). The primary outcomes in the comprehension domain were the Passage Comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB) and the Comprehension subtest of the GORT-3. The study reported student outcomes after two months (eight weeks) of program implementation. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B. The study also used the Spelling test from the SpellRead™ test battery (pseudo-spelling), but this measure overaligned with the intervention and did not meet inclusion criteria as an outcome for the Adolescent Literacy review.

Support for implementation

Three teachers and one teacher supervisor implemented the SpellRead™ program. The supervisor had previously taught the program for two years, and one of the three teachers had a teaching certificate. All instructors were screened to ensure that they had strong phonological skills. The four instructors participated in an intensive six-day training program provided by experienced SpellRead™ staff.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: July 2007

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

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Segmenting Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;

98.5

89

Yes

 
 
45
More Outcomes

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Segmenting Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;
20 students

98.5

89

Yes

 
 
45

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

101.4

88.8

Yes

 
 
36

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

101.4

88.8

Yes

 
 
36

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

90.7

82.1

Yes

 
 
29

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

90.7

82.1

Yes

 
 
29

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

102.8

95

Yes

 
 
25

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

102.8

95

Yes

 
 
25

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phoneme Elision subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

98.9

95.2

No

 
 
12

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phoneme Elision subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

98.9

95.2

No

 
 
12

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

93.9

91.7

No

--

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

93.9

91.7

No

--

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

88

86.9

No

--

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

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

88

86.9

No

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

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;

97.5

82.5

Yes

 
 
37
More Outcomes

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;
20 students

97.5

82.5

Yes

 
 
37

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;

102.5

91.4

Yes

 
 
25

Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB): Comprehension subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 1-2;
47 students

102.5

91.4

Yes

 
 
25
Reading fluency outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Rate subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;

92.5

87.5

No

 
 
20
More Outcomes

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Rate subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;
20 students

92.5

87.5

No

 
 
20

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Accuracy subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;

94.5

87.5

No

 
 
14

Gray Oral Reading Test Third Edition (GORT-3): Reading Accuracy subtest

SpellRead vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 2;
20 students

94.5

87.5

No

 
 
14

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

  • Female: 47%
    Male: 53%
  • Race
    Asian
    0%
    Black
    0%
    Native American
    0%
    Not specified
    0%
    Pacific Islander
    0%
    White
    100%

Setting

One elementary school in Newfoundland, Canada.

Study sample

The study included 116 students from grades 1–6 with below-average phonetic decoding and word-level reading skills (as measured by the word attack and word identification subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test–Revised [WRMT–R]). This WWC report focuses on 47 first-grade and second-grade students. Students were matched on phonemic decoding and word-level skills at each grade level with one of each pair randomly assigned to SpellRead™ and the other assigned to the comparison condition. Most of the students in the sample were from low-income families and all were Caucasian.

Intervention Group

SpellRead™ was implemented in small groups of three to five students during language arts time outside the regular classroom. The students received 31–35 hours of the program over eight weeks. Each lesson consisted of 30 minutes of phonemic activities, 15 minutes of share reading, and five to six minutes of free reading. The phonemic activities used unscripted lessons with sound cards. New phonemic and phonetic skills were practiced during share reading, followed by free writing where students wrote down what was read.

Comparison Group

The comparison group children participated in the school’s regular literacy-based reading program. The regular classroom teachers did not have training in phonetics. After the first posttest assessment, the comparison group was given the SpellRead™ program while the intervention group was given no further SpellRead™ instruction.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcomes in the alphabetics domain were the word identification and word attack subtests of the WRMT–R, the phonemic decoding efficiency subtest of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE), and elision, blending words, and segmenting words subtests of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). The primary outcomes in the fluency domain were the sight words efficiency subtest of the TOWRE and the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT-3) word accuracy subtest. The main outcomes in the comprehension domain were the passage comprehension subtest of the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB) and the comprehension subtest of the GORT-3. (See Appendices A2.1–2.3 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures.)

Support for implementation

Three teachers and one supervisor implemented the SpellRead™ program. The supervisor had previously taught the program for two years and one of the three teachers was certified. All instructors had been screened to insure that they had strong phonological skills. The four instructors participated in an intensive six-day training program provided by experienced SpellRead™ staff.

 

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