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Effects of a Research-Based Intervention on Reading Achievement of Middle School English Learners

  • Author(s): Swartz, Philip
  • Advisor(s): Widaman, Keith F.
  • et al.
Abstract

Students with low reading achievement experience difficulty accessing content area instruction. English learners from Hispanic homes traditional lag behind their English speaking counterparts. Previous research has identified various teaching methods that support reading achievement in English learners with particular emphasis on early grades. The current study adds to the existing literature by examining the effects of a small-group intervention cycle on middle school aged students. A small-group intervention was developed with components identified in the research literature on effective teaching methods for English learners. This cycle employed a gradual release of responsibility for instruction from the expert teacher to the students. Areas of reading acquisition receiving particular emphasis included phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students were assigned to treatment groups randomly from a stratified sample of English language proficiency and Lexile reading achievement scores. Analyses of variance and covariance were employed to evaluate the differences in reading outcomes for the two treatment groups. The results suggest that research-based small-group intervention can have positive effects on low performing middle school students and would be a useful strategy for intervention.

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