To respond to the urgent need to improve foundational literacy skills in children from low-income homes, this study provided an intervention program to increase the reading skills of children in schools located in low-income neighborhoods. The participants were 305 children, grade 1 through grade 3, from three schools in low-income neighborhoods in a medium-size Canadian city. The children were divided into two groups: an experimental group (n = 221) that received an intervention program whose objective was to raise literacy skills and a control group (n = 84) that received only regular classroom instruction in literacy. With the collaboration of school and university researchers, the intervention program consisted of 2 elements: (a) modified regular reading instruction conducted by the classroom teacher and (b) supplementary reading instruction delivered by university student tutors. The supplementary reading instruction was administered in 20-30-minute sessions 3 times per week, totaling 60 minutes per week (weekly session), in small groups of 2-3 children. Tutoring focused on reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension and served to complement the classroom instruction. The results indicated the effectiveness of this intervention program along two factors: (a) a duration of more than 20 weekly tutoring sessions, totaling 60 minutes per week (weekly session), and (b) the participation of readers with an initial low reading performance. Implications for further intervention and research are suggested.
|Keywords:||Literacy, Elementary Schoold, Children, Poverty/Low-Income, Intervention, Effect, Canada|
Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Canada
Graduate Student, Educational Psychology & leadership Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
Graduate Student, Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, University of Victoria, Canada
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