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Teaching reading is a complex process. The best teachers develop an extensive knowledge base and draw on a repertoire of strategies for working with struggling students. To dig deeper, visit other sections of the website, including Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension.
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A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School
Copyright 2007 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Used with permission. Olson, C.B. and Land, R. (2007). A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School. Research in the Teaching of English, 41(3), http://www.ncte.org/pubs/journals/rte/articles/126617.htm.
Academic Literacy Instruction for Adolescents
Torgesen, J. K., Houston, D. D., Rissman, L. M., Decker, S. M., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J. Francis, D. J, Rivera, M. O., Lesaux, N. (2007). Academic literacy instruction for adolescents: A guidance document from the Center on Instruction. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.
Beyond the Basics: Effective Reading Programs for the Upper Elementary Grades
Slavin, R.E., Lake, C., Cheung, A., and Davis, S. (2008). Beyond the Basics: Effective Reading Programs for the Upper Elementary Grades. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Practice Brief
Boardman, A. G., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Murray, C. S., & Kosanovich, M. (2008). Effective instruction for adolescent struggling readers: A practice brief. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.
Effective Reading Programs for Middle and High Schools: A Best-Evidence Synthesis
Slavin, R.E., Cheung, A., Groff, C., and Lake, C. (2008). Effective Reading Programs for Middle and High Schools: A Best-Evidence Synthesis.Washington, DC: International Reading Association.
This digest rates the effectiveness of 26 programs designed to improve the reading achievement of middle and high school students. No programs showed strong evidence of effectiveness, and only five showed moderate evidence.
The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Final Report: The Impact of Supplemental Literacy Courses for Struggling Ninth Graders
Somers, M.A., Corrin, W., Sepanik, S., Salinger T., Levin, J., and Zmach, C. (2010). The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Final Report: The Impact of Supplemental Literacy Courses for Struggling Ninth-Grade Readers Executive Summary (NCEE 2010-4022). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
The Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) demonstration evaluated two supplemental literacy programs — Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy (RAAL) and Xtreme Reading (XR) — targeted to ninth grade students whose reading skills were at least two years below grade level. Over two years, about 6,000 eligible students in 34 high schools from 10 districts were randomly assigned to enroll in the year-long ERO class or remain in a regularly scheduled elective class (non-ERO group). At the end of 9th grade, both groups were assessed using a standardized, nationally normed reading test, and participated in surveys about their reading activities and behaviors. School records were used to examine the effect of the literacy programs on academic performance during the program year (9th grade) and a year afterwards.
- Taken together, the ERO supplemental literacy programs improved students' reading comprehension skills during the 9th grade, corresponding to an improvement from the 23rd to the 25th percentile. However, 77% of students assigned to the ERO class were still reading 2 or more years behind grade level at the end of the 9th grade.
- During the 9th grade, the ERO program also had a positive impact on students' academic performance in core subject areas, including their grades and credit accumulation. Students in the ERO group scored higher on their states' English/Language Arts and mathematics assessment than did those in the non-ERO group.
- The ERO program effects did not continue beyond the program year. While there were statistically significant and positive impacts on students' GPA, credit accumulation and state test scores in 9th grade, the impacts were not significant the following school year. When analyzed separately, the RAAL program significantly improved students' reading comprehension during the 9th grade year while the XR program did not have a statistically significant impact on reading comprehension. Impacts on other outcomes were similar for the two programs.
The Literacy Coach: A Key to Improving Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools
Sturvent, E.G. (2003). The Literacy Coach: A Key to Improving Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.