Responsiveness of students with language difficulties to early intervention in reading

For children with language challenges, little is known about effective early reading interventions, because most studies have used language scores as exclusionary criteria. We randomly assigned 78 kindergartners with poor language skills to small group reading interventions that included phonemic awareness, alphabetic understanding, and oral language. The groups began in September or mid-February. Nearly half the students were English learners. MANOVA between these groups found that earlier intervention led to significantly better outcomes than the same interventions begun later in kindergarten. We found similar rates of growth between students who were English only or English learners. Twice as many students in the immediate as in the delayed treatment scored in the average range at the end of the year. Pretests did not predict who would be a good or poor responder to the treatments; however, January scores in letter knowledge and phonemic awareness were reliably different for good and poor responders.
Authors citation
O'Connor, R. E., Bocian, K., Beebe-Frankenberger, M., & Linklater, D. L.
Publication
The Journal of Special Education
Year of Study
2010
Subject
Literacy
Program Evaluated
Early reading interventions
Tutor Type
Paraprofessional
Duration
18 weeks
Sample size
69
Grade Level(s)
Kindergarten
Student-Tutor Ratio
2.5
Effect Size
0.58
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
O'Connor, R. E., Bocian, K., Beebe-Frankenberger, M., & Linklater, D. L. (2010). Responsiveness of students with language difficulties to early intervention in reading. The Journal of Special Education