One-to-one instruction, while highly desirable for children with the lowest reading skills, is not often available. It could be provided by nonprofessional tutors in the community, however. One aim of this study was to determine whether a one-to-one phonologically based tutoring program that incorporates many features of successful early reading programs and that is delivered by nonprofessional tutors is effective with first-grade students at risk for reading failure. Forty at-risk first graders who did not differ on reading skill prior to the intervention were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The treatment group received 30 minutes of individual instruction from community tutors four days a week for up to 23 weeks. The control group received only the regular reading instruction in their classrooms. The treatment group outperformed the control group on all reading, decoding, spelling and segmenting, and writing measures, with effect sizes averaging .21, .35, .37, and .19, respectively. Differences were significant on only one nonword reading and one spelling measure; however, a second aim was to determine the effects of the tutors' ability to implement the lessons scripted for them. Tutors who implemented the program with a high degree of fidelity achieved significant effect sizes in each early reading skill area assessed. Results support the potential of nonprofessional tutors to supplement early reading instruction, and prevent learning disabilities in at-risk children.
Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(2), 126–139
Year of Study
One-to-one phonologically based tutoring program
Randomized Controlled Trial
Vadasy, P. F., Jenkins, J. R., Antil, L. R., Wayne, S. K., & O’Connor, R. E. (1997). The Effectiveness of One-to-One Tutoring by Community Tutors for at-Risk Beginning Readers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(2), 126–139. https://doi.org/10.2307/1511219