An experimental evaluation of guided reading and explicit interventions for primary-grade students at-risk for reading difficulties

Considerable research evidence supports the provision of explicit instruction for students at risk for reading difficulties; however, one of the most widely implemented approaches to early reading instruction is Guided Reading (GR; Fountas & Pinnel, 1996), which deemphasizes explicit instruction and practice of reading skills in favor of extended time reading text. This study evaluated the two approaches in the context of supplemental intervention for at-risk readers at the end of Grade 1. Students (n = 218) were randomly assigned to receive GR intervention, explicit intervention (EX), or typical school instruction (TSI). Both intervention groups performed significantly better than TSI on untimed word identification. Significant effects favored EX over TSI on phonemic decoding and one measure of comprehension. Outcomes for the intervention groups did not differ significantly from each other; however, an analysis of the added value of providing each intervention relative to expected growth with typical instruction indicated that EX is more likely to substantially accelerate student progress in phonemic decoding, text reading fluency, and reading comprehension than GR. Implications for selection of Tier 2 interventions within a response-to-intervention format are discussed.
Authors citation
Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Taylor, W. P., Barth, A. E., & Vaughn, S.
Publication
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7(3), 268–293
Year of Study
2014
Subject
Literacy
Program Evaluated
Guided Reading
Tutor Type
Teacher
Duration
1 year
Sample size
136
Grade Level(s)
2nd Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
Small group
Effect Size
0.14
Study Design
Student Randomized
Full citation
Denton, C. A., Fletcher, J. M., Taylor, W. P., Barth, A. E., & Vaughn, S. (2014). An experimental evaluation of guided reading and explicit interventions for primary-grade students at-risk for reading difficulties. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7(3), 268–293. https://doi.org/10.1080/19345747.2014.906010