Does early reading instruction really deliver important outcomes for struggling readers? A review in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness addressed this question by focusing on students in Grades 1-3 who struggle with reading.
Researchers systematically reviewed 33 studies conducted between 2002 and 2017 to investigate the effects of reading intervention on word and pseudoword reading, reading comprehension, and passage fluency. In total, 128 effect sizes (n=11,737) ranging from -0.20 to +1.37 were collected:
- The mean effect size of +0.39 (p<0.001) confirmed the hypothesis that early reading interventions were generally effective, with encoding and writing interventions more effective than phonological awareness interventions.
- Meta-analytic results also indicated that one-to-one instruction (ES=+0.46) was more effective than small-group instruction (2-5 students) (ES=+0.31).
Research results suggest that the position of instructors – researchers, certified teachers, university students, or paraprofessionals – does not have a significant impact on outcomes.
Source: Gersten, R., Haymond, K., Newman-Gonchar, R., Dimino, J., & Jayanthi, M. (2020). Meta-analysis of the impact of reading interventions for students in the primary grades. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 13(2), 401-427.