Effectiveness of paraeducator-supplemented individual instruction: Beyond basic decoding skills

A total of 46 children in Grades 2 and 3 with low word-level skills were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups that received supplemental phonics-based reading instruction. One group received intervention October through March (21.5 hours), and one group served as a control from October through March and later received intervention March through May (17.5 hours). Paraeducators trained in a standard treatment protocol provided individual instruction for 30 min per day, 4 days per week. At the March posttest, the early treatment (ET; n = 23) group outperformed the controls (late treatment, LT; n = 20) on reading accuracy and passage fluency. Across both groups, second graders outperformed third graders on these same measures. At the 3-month follow-up, the ET group showed no evidence of decline in reading accuracy, passage fluency, or words spelled; however, 3rd-grade ET students had significantly higher spelling skills compared to 2nd graders. The LT group demonstrated significant growth during their intervention in reading accuracy and spelling, but not passage fluency. When we compared the ET and LT groups on their gains per instructional hour, we found that the ET group made significantly greater gains than the LT group across all 3 measures. The results support the value of paraeducator-supplemented reading instruction for students below grade level in word identification and reading fluency.
Authors citation
Vadasy, P. F., Sanders, E. A., & Tudor, S.
Publication
Journal of Learning disabilities
Year of Study
2007
Subject
Literacy
Program Evaluated
Supplemental Phonics-based Reading Instruction
Tutor Type
Paraprofessional
Duration
11 weeks
Sample size
43
Grade Level(s)
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
1
Effect Size
0.41
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
Vadasy, P. F., Sanders, E. A., & Tudor, S. (2007). Effectiveness of paraeducator-supplemented individual instruction: Beyond basic decoding skills. Journal of Learning disabilities