This study examined the effectiveness of nonprofessional tutors in a phonologically based reading treatment similar to those in which successful reading outcomes have been demonstrated. Participants were 23 first graders at risk for learning disability who received intensive one-to-one tutoring from noncertified tutors for 30 minutes, 4 days a week, for one school year. Tutoring included instruction in phonological skills, letter-sound correspondence, explicit decoding, rime analysis, writing, spelling, and reading phonetically controlled text. At year end, tutored students significantly outperformed untutored control students on measures of reading, spelling, and decoding. Effect sizes ranged from .42 to 1.24. Treatment effects diminished at follow-up at the end of second grade, although tutored students continued to significantly outperform untutored students in decoding and spelling. Findings suggest that phonologically based reading instruction for first graders at risk for learning disability can be delivered by nonteacher tutors. Our discussion addresses the character of reading outcomes associated with tutoring, individual differences in response to treatment, and the infrastructure required for nonprofessional tutoring programs.
Journal of Learning Disabilities
Year of Study
Phonologically based reading treatment
Randomized Controlled Trial
Vadasy, P. F., Jenkins, J. R., & Pool, K. (2000). Effects of tutoring in phonological and early reading skills on students at risk for reading disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities