Routes to comprehension for second-graders with reading problems: one-to-one tutoring in repeated reading versus comprehension strategy instruction
This year-long study compared two types of one-to-one tutoring for second graders with a history of reading problems. The purpose of this study was to examine two approaches to improving comprehension skill: through developing students' reading fluency, or through teaching students strategies for monitoring their understanding. Reading Partners treatment provided repeated reading practice with expository passages. Thinking Partners treatment provided scaffolded instruction in five comprehension strategies coordinated with reading grade-level trade books: keeping track, thinking ahead, understanding words, making connections, and making questions. Two major research questions were addressed: (1) the relative effects of treatments on reading rate and accuracy, and on reading comprehension; and (2) the student and tutor characteristics that influence the effectiveness of each tutoring approach, including students' precursor reading skills, tutor implementation of instruction, and program variables.Forty three students participated in the study, 27 in Thinking Partners and 16 in Reading Partners. Students were randomly assigned to treatments which occurred in nine elementary schools. Students in each treatment received one-half hour of individual tutoring four days a week for an average of 39 hours of instruction. Data were collected on: student reading skills at pretest, student reading rate in daily Reading Partners lessons, student strategy use in Thinking Partners lessons, tutor implementation, and student reading skills at posttest. Reading skills were assessed on both standard and experimenter-designed measures.Four types of findings emerged from analysis of the data. First, reading skills improved significantly in both groups from pretest to posttest. Second there were no significant differences between groups in reading skills at posttest. Third, rapid letter naming was the only significant predictor of student fluency and accuracy scores, and PPVT was the only significant predictor of comprehension. Student fluency gain in Reading Partners lessons was significantly predicted by rapid letter naming. Quality of tutoring did not significantly influence student reading outcomes. Fourth, there were no differential treatment effects for students based on their entry level reading skills. Fifth, there were no program or student variables that significantly predicted strategy use by Thinking Partners students.Findings are discussed in light of verbal efficiency theory and the complexity of reading fluency.
- Education - Seattle