The Efficacy of an Early Literacyeracy Tutoring Program Implemented by College Students

This article describes a two-year study addressing the effectiveness of a highly structured, systematic tutoring intervention implemented by minimally trained college students with two cohorts of at-risk first-grade readers. Participants were 61 first-grade children in Cohort 1 and 76 first-grade children in Cohort 2. Tutors participated in three one-hour training sessions and received occasional on-site assistance. Individual tutoring sessions were scheduled for three to four times each week for one school year, with each cohort receiving approximately 10-14 hours of instruction across 44 sessions. The curriculum included a game to teach phonemic awareness and letter-sound correspondence, structured word-study activities, reading of leveled books, and simple comprehension strategies. Significant differences were found on measures of phonemic awareness and nonsense word reading for both cohorts. For Cohort 1, but not Cohort 2, significant differences were also detected for real-word identification. Our results support using tutors to provide additional assistance and instruction in early reading, even when tutors are not professionally trained teachers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Authors citation
Allor, J., & McCathren, R.
Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 19(2), 116–129
Year of Study
Program Evaluated
Volunteer Tutoring
Tutor Type
Volunteer - Paid
6 months
Sample size
Grade Level(s)
1st Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
Effect Size
Study Design
Student Randomized
Allor, J., & McCathren, R. (2004). The Efficacy of an Early Literacyeracy Tutoring Program Implemented by College Students. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 19(2), 116–129.