WWC review of this study

Relative Effectiveness of Reading Intervention Programs for Adults with Low Literacy [Guided Reading]

Sabatini, John P., Shore, Jane, Holtzman, Steven, Scarborough, Hollis S. (2011). Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness v4 n2 p118-133 . Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ920177

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    148
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: January 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Alphabetics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

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

Adult Education vs. Corrective Reading

0 Days

GRR v CR;
98 students

57.92

57.33

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock Johnson (WJ): Letter-word Identification subtest

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

484.56

483.88

No

--

Woodcock Johnson (WJ): Letter-word Identification subtest

Adult Education vs. Corrective Reading

0 Days

GRR v CR;
98 students

484.62

484.77

No

--

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

Adult Education vs. Corrective Reading

0 Days

GRR v CR;
98 students

9.91

11.17

No

--

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

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

54.88

57.56

No

--

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

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

10.57

12.66

No

--

Woodcock Johnson (WJ): Word Attack subtest

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

462.65

470.60

No

--
Comprehension outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Woodcock Johnson (WJ): Passage Comprehension subtest

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

488.00

485.08

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock Johnson (WJ): Passage Comprehension subtest

Adult Education vs. Corrective Reading

0 Days

GRR v CR;
98 students

487.39

485.58

No

--
Reading Fluency outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Woodcock Johnson: Reading fluency subtest

Adult Education vs. Retrieval-based learning activities

0 Days

GRR v RAVE-O;
100 students

492.26

490.92

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock Johnson: Reading fluency subtest

Adult Education vs. Corrective Reading

0 Days

GRR v CR;
98 students

491.93

493.04

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 67%
    Male: 33%

  • Urban
    • B
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    • i
    • b
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    Northeast, South
  • Race
    Black
    83%
    Other or unknown
    9%
    White
    8%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    9%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    81%

Setting

The study took place in several large adult education centers in two major cities in the mid-Atlantic and southern regions of the United States.

Study sample

The initial sample consisted of 300 learners. These learners scored below the 7th grade level on a word recognition test and demonstrated English proficiency if they were not a native English speaker. Sixty-seven percent of learners were female; on average, they were 36 years old. Eighty-three percent were African American, 9 percent were Latino(a), and 8 percent were White.

Intervention Group

The Guided Repeated Reading (GRR) program provided explicit instruction on reading and was designed specifically for adult learners. It targets text fluency skills, although phonics instruction is also embedded within the GRR approach. Instruction includes teacher modeling oral reading, shared reading between learner and teacher—reading orally in unison, and learners reading orally by themselves up to three times in the same session. The reading passages are brief, contain predictable and rhythmic text to promote fluency, and are selected based on the level and interests of the adult learners. Less than 10 to 20 percent of instructional time is spent on phonics, and 80 to 90 percent or more is spent on fluency. Instructional sessions were conducted three times per week for 10–18 weeks. The goal was to complete 45 sessions of 75 minutes each.

Comparison Group

The comparison group participated in one of two tutoring programs: either Retrieval, Automaticity, Vocabulary Elaboration-Orthography (RAVE-O), or Corrective Reading (CR). The Retrieval, Automaticity, Vocabulary Elaboration-Orthography (RAVE-O) program provided explicit instruction on reading by supplementing phonics instruction with fluency training and a stronger focus on fluency. This approach was based on the Double Deficit hypothesis, which suggests deficits in either phonological processing or naming speed can impede reading acquisition. RAVE-O is designed to address a naming speed deficit or a double deficit and is combined with an abbreviated version of Corrective Reading, a systematic phonics program described in its own profile. Instructional time is 25 to 35 percent phonics and 65 to 75 percent fluency. Instructional sessions were conducted three times per week for 10 to 18 weeks. The goal was to complete 45 sessions of 75 minutes each. The adaptation of the CR program provided explicit instruction on reading, using a traditional phonics instruction for treating reading disabilities that is commonly used in adolescents. Instruction focuses on strengthening and expanding the reader’s mastery of grapheme-phoneme correspondences, and on word recognition. Through CR, learners are taught the structure of words through an explicit, systematic, and sequenced curriculum that teaches decoding and spelling, with phonemic analyses that are taught in relation to syllable types. Learners progress from a phonological focus to word-level practice, and eventually to processing words quickly by recognizing patterns and reading context. Learners also read controlled (decodable) texts to gain fluency. Instructional time is 80 to 90 percent phonics, and 10 to 20 percent fluency. Instructional sessions were conducted three times per week for 10–18 weeks. The goal was to complete 45 sessions of 75 minutes each.

Support for implementation

Tutors had a bachelor’s degree and were comfortable with technology. Tutor training included a one-day (5–6 hour) workshop, two individual follow-up meetings of about 1–2 hours each with experienced tutors or trainers, and review and practice with materials, role-plays, and reviews of sample sessions. Total time spent training was 12 to 18 hours. During implementation, conferences were conducted to ensure techniques were being consistently applied.

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.

  • Scarborough, Hollis S., Sabatini, John P., Shore, Jane, Cutting, Laurie E., Pugh, Kenneth, Katz, Leonard. (2013). Meaningful Reading Gains by Adult Literacy Learners. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal v26 n4 p593-613.

 

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