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Boosting reading skills by direct instruction

Branwhite, A.
This two phase study examined the effect of Direct Instruction (DI) on increasing the reading skills of elementary school aged students with learning disabilities. Fourteen students (12 boys and 2 girls) described as having “major levels of retardation” participated in this study. Their average IQ was 91.64 (ranging from 74 to 108), but they were, on average two and one-half years below grade level in reading skills. Half of the students received instruction with DISTAR Reading II and the other half received instruction with diagnostic-prescriptive remediation (DPR). The same teacher instructed each group for 35 minutes a day for a total of 55 days. Due to superior gains for students in the DI group during phase one, both groups received instruction with DISTAR Reading II for phase two. As in phase one, all students received instruction for 35 minutes a day for a total of 55 days. The Schonell’s Graded Word Reading Test was administered to all students for pre- and posttest measures. In phase one, students in the DI group demonstrated significantly greater gains than the students in the DPR group. During the second phase, students in both groups demonstrated gains in reading instruction. Students who initially received DPR instruction demonstrated accelerated gains in reading skills during phase two of instruction in comparison to phase one. Results indicated that instruction with DISTAR Reading II produced a rapid and substantial acceleration of learning reading skills, and this effect was consistent with both groups. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
British Journal of Educational Psychology
Design type:
Pretest-Posttest Control Group Gain Score Design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Students with learning disabilities, elementary students
Other tags:
Reading, DISTAR Reading II, Schonell’s Graded Word Reading Test
United Kingdom, elementary school
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