Delve Institute of Learning Research

Educational Research Topics and Digests

Evidence Based Reading Interventions

Research-based reading interventions can be implemented in the classroom or at home, depending on the needs and preferences of the students and teachers. They can also be combined or adapted to suit different levels and goals of reading instruction.

Whole Class Reading Interventions

There are many examples of evidence based reading intervention programs such as Spiral WarmUps, Lexia Core 5, and iStation. Then there are popular reading programs that aren’t backed by science (i.e. Fountas and Pinnel and Lucy Calkins Programs.

An evidence-based reading intervention is a set of instructional practices that are supported by scientific research and proven to be effective for improving students’ reading skills. A good evidence-based reading intervention for whole class should meet the following criteria:

  • It should be aligned with the curriculum standards and learning objectives of the grade level.
  • It should be differentiated to meet the diverse needs and abilities of all students in the class.
  • It should be explicit, systematic, and sequential, providing clear explanations, modeling, scaffolding, and feedback.
  • It should be engaging, motivating, and relevant, using a variety of texts, materials, and activities that interest and challenge students.
  • It should be monitored and evaluated regularly, using formative and summative assessments to measure student progress and adjust instruction accordingly.

Reading Interventions for Struggling Students

There are many evidence-based reading interventions that can help struggling readers. Some of the most effective interventions include:

Phonemic awareness: This is the ability to identify and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. It is a critical skill for early reading development.
Phonics: This is the relationship between letters and sounds. Phonics instruction teaches students how to sound out words and read them aloud.
Decoding: This is the ability to read unfamiliar words by sounding them out. Decoding is a foundational skill for reading fluency.
Fluency: This is the ability to read text smoothly, accurately, and expressively. Fluency is important for comprehension because it allows readers to focus on the meaning of the text rather than on the mechanics of reading.
Comprehension: This is the ability to understand what is read. Comprehension is a complex skill that involves many different cognitive processes.

In addition to these specific interventions, there are also some general strategies that can be helpful for struggling readers.

These instructional strategies include:

  • Explicit instruction: This is instruction that is clear, direct, and systematic. Explicit instruction is often more effective than implicit instruction, which is more indirect.
  • Scaffolding: This is providing support to learners as they are learning a new skill. Scaffolding can be gradually withdrawn as learners become more proficient.
  • Feedback: This is providing information to learners about their performance. Feedback can be corrective or positive.
  • Repetition: This is practicing a skill over and over again. Repetition is an important part of learning any new skill.
  • Motivation: This is providing learners with the incentive to learn. Motivation can be extrinsic, such as rewards, or intrinsic, such as a sense of accomplishment.
  • The best reading intervention for a particular student will depend on the individual’s needs. However, the interventions listed above have all been shown to be effective in helping struggling readers.

Effects of a year long supplemental reading intervention for students with reading difficulties in fourth grade. | APA PsychNet
Effectiveness of reading interventions for middle school students with learning disabilities. | Walden University