Teaching reading to poor readers in the intermediate grades: A comparison of text difficulty

The authors compared the influence of text difficulty--reading-level matched or grade-level matched--on the growth of poor readers' reading ability over 18 weeks of 1-to-1 tutoring. Forty-six 3rd-5th graders, including 25 with disabilities, were assigned randomly to 1 of 2 tutoring approaches or a control condition. Significant differences favored tutored children. Between approaches, the only significant difference was oral reading fluency, which favored students who read material at their reading level. Students who began with lower fluency made stronger gains in text matched to reading level; students with higher fluency profited from both treatments. When the 3 groups were combined, fluency was the strongest contributor to reading comprehension outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Authors citation
O'Connor, R. E., Bell, K. M., Harty, K. R., Larkin, L. K., Sackor, S. M., & Zigmond, N.
Publication
Journal of Educational Psychology
Year of Study
2002
Subject
Literacy
Program Evaluated
Intervention for poor readers
Tutor Type
Teacher
Duration
18 weeks
Sample size
31
Grade Level(s)
3rd Grade,
4th Grade,
5th Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
1
Effect Size
1.03
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
O'Connor, R. E., Bell, K. M., Harty, K. R., Larkin, L. K., Sackor, S. M., & Zigmond, N. (2002). Teaching reading to poor readers in the intermediate grades: A comparison of text difficulty. Journal of Educational Psychology