WWC review of this study

Effectiveness of an English intervention for first-grade English language learners at risk for reading problems.

Vaughn, S., Mathes, P., Linan-Thompson, S., Cirino, P., Carlson, C., Pollard-Durodola, S., Cardenas-Hagan, E., & Francis, D. (2006). Elementary School Journal, 107(2), 153–180. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ750516

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    40
     Students
    , grade
    1
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: February 2009

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    100%
    Not Hispanic
    0%

  • Urban
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: September 2006

English language development outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

English Language Composite

Enhanced Proactive Reading vs. None

Posttest

Grade 1;
39 students

2.23

-0.19

No

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

Passage Comprehension

Enhanced Proactive Reading vs. None

Posttest

Grade 1;
39 students

22.82

4.88

Yes

 
 
41
More Outcomes

Letter sound identification

Enhanced Proactive Reading vs. None

Posttest

Grade 1;
40 students

9.53

6.64

No

 
 
22

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

Enhanced Proactive Reading vs. None

Posttest

Grade 1;
36 students

20.49

17.75

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Woodcock-Johnson (WJ): Word Attack subtest

Enhanced Proactive Reading vs. None

Posttest

Grade 1;
38 students

43.71

24.25

Yes

 
 
44

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • 85% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    98%
    Not Hispanic
    2%

  • Urban
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    Texas

Setting

Four Texas schools with a large population of English language learners served as sites for the study. On average, 98% of the students were Hispanic and more than 80% (ranging from 85% to 100%) qualified for the free or reduced-price lunch program. Schools were located in large urban areas or on an urban border.

Study sample

The study involved 41 first-grade Hispanic English language learners (50% female) from 14 classrooms. The students were randomly assigned to either the intervention or comparison group. Participants were included in the study based on low English and Spanish reading achievement. All participants were prescreened to assess their English and Spanish reading and language ability. To be included in the study, students had to meet two inclusion criteria: scoring below the 25th percentile for first grade on the Letter Word Identification subtest of the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery in both Spanish and English and reading between zero and one word from a list of five two- to four-letter words in English and Spanish.

Intervention Group

The intervention group received Enhanced Proactive Reading. The curriculum was implemented as a supplemental reading program for these students. They were taught in small groups of three to five students from October to May, receiving a total of 120, 50-minute lessons. Checklists and observations were conducted and found that the intervention was delivered with acceptable fidelity.

Comparison Group

The comparison group English language learners did not participate in the supplemental reading program but received the same core reading instruction as the intervention group. The study authors note that 14 of these students received one or more reading interventions, in addition to their core instruction, during the study. More specifically, comparison students received an average of 63.7 hours of supplemental instruction, but there was wide variability, with some receiving relatively few hours and others receiving well over 100 hours (compared with the 80 hours received by students in the intervention group)

Outcome descriptions

Pre- and post-intervention assessments included measures of English language development and reading assessments in both English and Spanish. Only the English language measures are within the scope of this review, and the WWC did not consider Spanish outcomes when assessing the intervention. The reading measures included various subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson battery of assessments, the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, and a measure of students’ ability to identify letters in the English alphabet and to provide at least one corresponding sound for each letter. The Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery-Revised served as the English language development measure (composite scores and some related subtests). (See Appendices A2.1 and A2.2 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures.)

Support for implementation

Teachers received 12 hours of professional development training prior to implementation of the intervention and six additional hours six weeks after the start of the intervention. Teachers also participated in frequent staff development sessions and on-site coaching.

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.

  • Mathes, P. G., Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Anthony, J. L., Francis, D. J., & Schatschneider, C. (2005). The effects of theoretically different instruction and student characteristics on the skills of struggling readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 40(2), 148–182.

 

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