WWC review of this study

Effects of reading decodable texts in supplemental first-grade tutoring.

Jenkins, J. R., Peyton, J. A., Sanders, E. A., & Vadasy, P. F. (2004). Scientific Studies of Reading, 8(1), 53–85. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ683127

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    99
     Students
    , grade
    1
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
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

Bryant Pseudoword Test

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

20.82

9.4

Yes

 
 
37
More Outcomes

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

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

14.7

8.25

Yes

 
 
28

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

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

46.77

40.4

Yes

 
 
27

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

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

27.18

21.1

No

 
 
21

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

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

32.84

26.2

No

 
 
19

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

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

10.73

8.05

No

 
 
14
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. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

14.66

9.75

Yes

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

Phonetically Controlled Passage Accuracy

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

0.81

0.71

Yes

 
 
24
More Outcomes

Phonetically Controlled Passage Rate

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

41.3

27.7

No

 
 
19

Nonphonetically Controlled Passage Accuracy

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

0.81

0.73

No

 
 
18

Nonphonetically Controlled Passage Rate

Sound Partners vs. none

Posttest

Grade 1;
99 students

36.13

26.35

No

 
 
16

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 27% English language learners

  • Female: 43%
    Male: 57%
  • Race
    Asian
    15%
    Black
    12%
    Not specified
    15%
    White
    44%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    13%
    Not Hispanic
    87%

  • Urban

Setting

The study was conducted in 11 public schools in an urban area.

Study sample

Teachers identified first-graders from 26 classrooms in 11 schools whom they considered at risk for reading failure. The researchers then identified 121 students who scored at or below the 25th percentile on the Reading subtest of the WRAT-R as eligible for inclusion in the study. The treatment and comparison groups were formed partly by convenience and partly through random assignment, with some schools agreeing to allow students to serve only as the comparison group. After attrition, the analysis sample included 79 students (in 21 classes) in the treatment condition and 20 students (in 10 classrooms) in the comparison condition. The study was conducted in a single school year.

Intervention Group

The tutoring lessons in phonics were drawn from Sound Partners. They targeted letter-sound correspondences, blending letters into sounds, reading and spelling phonetically regular words, and reading nondecodable and high-frequency words scheduled to appear in the text portion of the lesson. Tutors also worked with students who read from storybooks that had varying degrees of decodability, with one of the treatment groups reading from books with highly decodable words and the other treatment group reading from books with high-frequency but less decodable words. The WWC considers the two treatment groups to be variants of the Sound Partners intervention and so presents them as a single treatment group. Lessons were scripted, and all tutoring was one-on-one. Lessons were provided 30 minutes a day, four days a week, for 25 weeks.

Comparison Group

Children in the control group received typical classroom instruction only, without tutoring in phonics or story reading.

Outcome descriptions

At the conclusion of the intervention, the students were given the Phonemic Decoding and Sight Word reading subtests of the TOWRE; the Word Attack, Word Identification, and Passage Comprehension subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test–Revised; the Bryant Pseudoword Test; the Reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test–Revised; and fluency and accuracy reading tests from passages with highly decodable words, as well as passages with less decodable words. The study includes a text reading list that contained words that the students read as part of the Sound Partners curriculum. The WWC determined that this outcome was overaligned with the intervention and is therefore not included in this review. Students also took two spelling tests that are 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–A2.3.

Support for implementation

Tutors received scripted phonics lessons, directions for book reading, attendance forms and recording sheets for each student’s lesson coverage, and a set of books for reading practice. Research staff provided tutors with three hours of formal training in lesson procedures, conducted weekly observations, provided ongoing coaching in lesson delivery, and held monthly follow-up meetings.

Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2009

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 27% English language learners

  • Female: 43%
    Male: 57%
  • Race
    Asian
    15%
    Black
    12%
    Not specified
    15%
    White
    44%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    13%
    Not Hispanic
    87%

  • Urban
 

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