Language Programs Ranked by Comprehension Outcomes

One criticism I often see of meta-analysis is that different studies are measuring different outcomes. For example one reading program study might measure letter ID and phonemic awareness, whereas another might measure word ID and comprehension. Even more problematic, some studies list their impact without listing their measurement criteria. Moreover, the demographics of different studies are often very different, and different age demographics lead to different results. Earlier this year I put out a large, but non-peer reviewed meta-analysis of language programs. After doing so, I have often gotten the question, what is the best program for my specific situation. In order to address this question, and to help correct for the above listed (valid) criticism of meta-analysis, I have decided to put a small series of sub-analyses that break down my original results according to more specific outcomes, and rank programs based on their effect sizes, according to these outcomes. 

 

This analysis provides more specific outcomes for people to look at. However, it also lowers the total sample size and statistical power of the analysis. This is especially true, as most studies only look at a small number of specific outcomes, with this in mind, readers should note that most language programs will be excluded from most sub-analyses, due to a lack of research. If you would like to learn more about the methodology behind this analysis, you can find the original sourced article here: https://www.teachingbyscience.com/a-meta-analysis-of-language-programs 

 

On this page, you can find language programs ranked by effect size for comprehension outcomes. Please note that this page will be updated over time, as I add new research. 

Written by Nathaniel Hansford

Last Edited 2022-05-28

References: 

 

ARC:

J, DuCette. 1999. An Evaluation of the

“100 Book Challenge Program”. Temple University. Retrieved from <https://www.americanreading.com/documents/report-ducette_1999.pdf>.

 

A, Gray. (2020). Zoology One. Consortium for Policy Research in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.americanreading.com/documents/cpre-study.pdf>.

Efficacy Evaluation.

 

Empower: 

Lovett, M. W., Frijters, J. C., Wolf, M., Steinbach, K. A., Sevcik, R. A., & Morris, R. D. (2017). Early intervention for children at risk for reading disabilities: The impact of grade at intervention and individual differences on intervention outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(7), 889-914. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000181

 

CKLA:

Amplify. (2019). Amplify CKLA AZ grade 5 efficacy research report. Retrieved from <https://amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CKLA_AZ-grade-5-efficacy-research-report.pdf>.

 

CKLA. (2019). CK Early Literacy Pilot. Retrieved from <https://amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CKLA-Early-Literacy-Pilot.pdf>.

 

Cabell, S.Q., White, T.G., Kim, J., Hwang, H., & Gale, C. (2019, December). Impact of the Core Knowledge Language Arts read-aloud program on kindergarteners’ vocabulary, listening comprehension, and general knowledge. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Tampa, FL.

 

J, Wedman. (2004). Core Knowledge Curriculum and School Performance. University of Missour. Retrieved from <https://www.coreknowledge.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/CK_National_Study_2004.pdf>. 




 

Reading Simplified: 

Bratsch-Hines, M., Vernon-Feagans, L., Pedonti, S., & Varghese, C. (2020). Differential Effects of the Targeted Reading Intervention for Students With Low Phonological Awareness and/or Vocabulary. Learning Disability Quarterly, 43(4), 214–226. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1177/0731948719858683


 

 Aiken. (2020). Targeted Reading Intervention Teacher Certification: An Approach to Building and Sustaining Teacher Expertise in Rural Schools. Literacy Research and Instruction., 59(4), 346–369.

Amendum, S. J., Bratsch, H. M., & Vernon, F. L. (2018). Investigating the Efficacy of a Web‐Based Early Reading and Professional Development Intervention for Young English Learners. Reading Research Quarterly, 53(2), 155–174. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1002/rrq.188

 

Vernon-Feagans, L., Gallagher, K., Ginsberg, M. C., Amendum, S., Kainz, K., Rose, J., & Burchinal, M. (2010). A Diagnostic Teaching Intervention for Classroom Teachers: Helping Struggling Readers in Early Elementary School. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (Wiley-Blackwell), 25(4), 183–193. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1111/j.1540-5826.2010.00316.x

 

 Vernon-Feagans, L., Kainz, K., Amendum, S., Ginsberg, M., Wood, T., & Bock, A. (2012). Targeted Reading Intervention: A Coaching Model to Help Classroom Teachers With Struggling Readers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(2), 102–114. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948711434048

 

 Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The Effectiveness of a Technologically Facilitated Classroom-Based Early Reading Intervention. Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 107–131.

 

Vernon-Feagans, L., Kainz, K., Amendum, S., Ginsberg, M., Wood, T., & Bock, A. (2012). Targeted Reading Intervention: A Coaching Model to Help Classroom Teachers With Struggling Readers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(2), 102–114. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1177/0731948711434048

 

Vernon-Feagans, L., Kainz, K., Ginsberg, M., Hedrick, A., & Amendum, S. (2013). Live Webcam Coaching to Help Early Elementary Classroom Teachers Provide Effective Literacy Instruction for Struggling Readers: The Targeted Reading Intervention. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 1175–1187. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1037/a0032143

 

Reading Mastery:

C, Schieffer. (2002). An Analysis of the Reading Mastery Program: Effective Components and Research Review. Journal of Direct Instruction. Volume 2: Issue 2. Retrieved from <https://www.nifdi.org/research/journal-of-di/volume-2-no-2-summer-2002/442-an-analysis-of-the-reading-mastery-program-effective-components-and-research-review/file.html>. 

 

Yu, L., & Rachor, R. (2000, April). The two-year evaluation of the three-year Direct Instruction program, in an urban public school system. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

 

O'Connor, R. E., Jenkins, J. R., Cole, K. N., & Mills, P. E. (1993). Two approaches to reading instruction with children with disabilities: does program design make a difference?. Exceptional children, 59(4), 312–323. https://doi.org/10.1177/001440299305900404


 

The Development of Early Academic Success: The Impact of Direct Instruction’s Reading Mastery. (2010). Journal of Behavior Assessment & Intervention in Children, 1(1), 2–24. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1037/h0100357


 

Wilson:

Fritts, J. L. (2016). Direct instruction and Orton-Gillingham reading methodologies: Effectiveness of increasing reading achievement of elementary school students with learning

disabilities (Publication No. 10168236) [Master’s thesis, Northeastern University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

 

Reuter, H. B. (2006). Phonological awareness instruction for middle school students with disabilities:A scripted multisensory intervention (Publication No. 3251867) [Master’s thesis,University of Oregon]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

 

Torgesen, J., Schirm, A., Castner, L., Vartivarian, S., Mansfield, W., Myers, D., Stancavage,

F., Durno, D., Javorsky, R., & Haan, C. (2007). National assessment of Title I: Final

report. Volume II. Closing the reading gap: Findings from a randomized trial of four reading interventions for striving readers (NCEE 2008-4013). National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pdf/20084013.pdf

 

Wanzek, J., & Roberts, G. (2012). Reading interventions with varying instructional emphases

for fourth graders with reading difficulties. Learning Disability Quarterly, 35(2), 90–101.

https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948711434047

 

Open Court: 

Skindrud, K., & Gersten, R. (2006). An Evaluation of Two Contrasting Approaches for Improving Reading Achievement in a Large Urban District. Elementary School Journal, 106(5), 389–407. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1086/505437

 

Stockard, J. (2010). Promoting Reading Achievement and Countering the “Fourth-Grade Slump”: The Impact of Direct Instruction on Reading Achievement in Fifth Grade. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 15(3), 218–240. https://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2010.495687

 

Vaden-Kiernan, M., Borman, G., Caverly, S., Bell, N., Sullivan, K., Ruiz de Castilla, V., Fleming, G., Rodriguez, D., Henry, C., Long, T., & Hughes Jones, D. (2018). Findings From a Multiyear Scale-Up Effectiveness Trial of Open Court Reading. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 11(1), 109–132. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1080/19345747.2017.1342886

 

Borman, G. D., Dowling, N. M., & Schneck, C. (2008). A Multisite Cluster Randomized Field Trial of Open Court Reading. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30(4), 389–407. https://doi.org/10.3102/0162373708326283

 

Lexia: 

Rachel Schechter, Paul Macaruso, Elizabeth R. Kazakoff & Elizabeth Brooke (2015) Exploration of a Blended Learning Approach to Reading Instruction for Low SES Students in Early Elementary Grades, Computers in the Schools, 32:3-4, 183-200, DOI: 10.1080/07380569.2015.1100652

 

 

 

Macaruso, P., Hook, P. E., & McCabe, R. (2006). The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students. Journal of Research in Reading, 29(2), 162–172. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2006.00282.x

 

Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of Computer-Assisted Instruction for the Development of Early Literacy Skills in Young Children. Reading Psychology, 32(2), 172–196. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1080/02702711003608071

 

Hurwitz, L.B. (2020). Supporting Struggling and Non-Proficient Middle School Readers with the Lexia PowerUp Literacy Program. Concord, MA: Lexia Learning Systems LLC, A Rosetta Stone Company

 

S, Wilkes, Et al. (2016). Exploration of a Blended Lerning Approach to Reading Instruction in Second Grade. Edmedia. Retrieved from <https://www.lexialearning.com/user_area/content_media/raw/EdMediaPresentation_TitleI.pdf>. 

 

Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2008). The Efficacy of Computer-Assisted Instruction for Advancing Literacy Skills in Kindergarten Children. Reading Psychology, 29(3), 266–287. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1080/02702710801982019

 

Schechter, R., Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E.R. and Brooke, E. (2015). Exploration of a blended learning approach to reading instruction for low SES students in early elementary grades. Computers in the Schools, 32, 183–200.

 

Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Benefits of Computer-Assisted Instruction to Support Reading Acquisition in English Language Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 34(3), 301–315. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1080/15235882.2011.622829 

 

Paul Macaruso & Alyson Rodman (2009) Benefits of computer‐assisted instruction for struggling readers in middle school, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24:1, 103-113, DOI: 10.1080/0885625080259677

 

Reading Recovery

 

R, Colvin. Reading Recovery Revisited. The School Superintendent Association. Retrieved from <https://aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=15712>

 

D’Agostino, J. V., & Harmey, S. J. (2016). An International Meta-Analysis of Reading Recovery. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 21(1), 29–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2015.1112746

 

 

 

Gardner, J., Sutherland, A., & Meenan-Strain, C. (1998) Reading Recovery in Northern Ireland: The first two years. Belfast, Ireland: Blackstaff.  

 

Schwartz, Robert. (2005). Literacy Learning of At-Risk First-Grade Students in the Reading Recovery Early Intervention.. Journal of Educational Psychology. 97. 257-267. 10.1037/0022-0663.97.2.257.  


 

Sirinides, P., Gray, A., & May, H. (2018). The Impacts of Reading Recovery at Scale: Results From the 4-Year i3 External Evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 40(3), 316–335. https://doi.org/10.3102/0162373718764828

 

 

Burroughs-Lange, S. (2008). Comparison of literacy progress of young children in London Schools: A RR Follow-Up Study.

 

London, UK: Institute of Education. Retrieved from https://www.ioe.ac.uk/Comparison_of_Literacy_Progress_of_Young_Children_in_London_Schools_-_A_Reading_Recovery_Follow_up_Study_.pdf

 

 Hurry, J., & Sylva, K. (2007). Long-term outcomes of early reading intervention. Journal of Research in Reading, 30(3), 227–248. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2007.00338.x 

 

Pinnell, Html & Lyons, Carol & Deford, Diane & Bryk, Anthony & Seltzer, Michael. (1994). Comparing Instructional Models for the Literacy Education of High-Risk First Graders. 

Reading Research Quarterly. 29. 10.2307/747736. 

 

Holliman, A.J., and Hurry, J. (2013) The effects of Reading Recovery on children's literacy progress and Special Educational Needs status: A three-year follow-up study. Educational Psychology, 33(6), pp. 719-733

 

 

 

Shanahan, T., & Barr, R. (1995). Reading Recovery: an independent evaluation of the effects of an early instructional intervention for at-risk learners. Reading Research Quarterly, 30, 958–996. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.2307/748206

 

Lyons, C. A. (1988). Reading Recovery: Early intervention for at-risk first graders (Educational

 

Research Service Monograph). Arlington, VA: Educational Research Service. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED303790).

 

 DeFord, D., Pinnell, G. S., Lyons, C. A., & Young, P. (1987). Reading Recovery program: Report of the follow-up studies (Vol. VII). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

 

Words Their Way:

Eddy, R. M., Ruitman, T., Hankel, N., Matelski, M. H. & Schmalstig, M. (2011). Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study in Action Intervention Efficacy Study Final Report