Language Programs Ranked by Reading 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 reading 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: 

Corrective Reading:

 

Benner, G. J., Michael, E., Ralston, N. C., & Lee, E. O. (2022). The impact of supplemental word recognition strategies on students with reading difficulties. International Journal of Instruction, 15(1) 837-856. https://doi.org/10.29333/iji.2022.15148a. 

 

Benner, Gregory & Kinder, Diane & Beaudoin, Kathleen & Stein, Marcy. (2005). The Effects of the "Corrective Reading Decoding" Program on the Basic Reading Skills and Social Adjustment of Students with High-Incidence Disabilities. Journal of Direct Instruction.

 

Lloyd, J., Cullinan, D., Heins, E. D., & Epstein, M. H. (1980). Direct Instruction: Effects on Oral and Written Language Comprehension. Learning Disability Quarterly, 3(4), 70–76. https://doi.org/10.2307/1510677 

 

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

HMH:

R, Eddy, Et al. (2020). QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN. Cobblestone. Retrieved from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-hmhco-vmg-craftcms-public/research/HMH-Into-Reading-ESSA-Tier-2-QED-Study-Report.pdf>. 

Jolly Phonics:

Nasrawi, A., & Al-Jamal, D. (2017). The Effect of Using Jolly Phonics on Jordanian First Grade Pupils’ Reading. International Online Journal of Education & Teaching, 4(2), 106–119.

 

Callinan, C., & van der Zee, E. (2010). A comparative study of two methods of synthetic phonics instruction for learning how to read: Jolly Phonics and THRASS. Psychology of Education Review, 34(1), 21–31.

 

M, Stuart. (1999). Getting ready for reading: Early phoneme awareness and phonics teaching improves reading and spelling in inner-city second language learners. British Journal of Psychology. Retrieved from <https://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/Research/Getting%20Ready%20for%20Reading.pdf>. 

 

C, Crane, Et, Al. (1999). Improving early language and literacy skills: differential effects of an oral language versus a phonology with reading intervention. University of York. Retrieved from <https://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/Research/BowyerCrane%20etal2007proof.pdf>. 

 

L, Farokhbakht. The Effect of Using Multisensory-based Phonics in Teaching Literacy on EFL Young Female/Male Learners' Early Reading Motivation. University of Isfahan. Retrieved from <https://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/Research/The%20Effect%20of%20Using%20Multisensory-based%20Phonics%20in%20Teaching%20Literacy%20on%20EFL%20Young%20FemaleMale%20Learners'%20Early%20Reading%20Motivation.pdf>. 


 

N, Katechaiyo, et al. EFFECTS OF JOLLY PHONICS INSTRUCTION FOR PUPIL BOOK 1 ON REDING ABILITY OF THAI EFL YOUNG LEARNERS. Retrieved from <https://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/Research/Revealing%20the%20secrets%20of%20remarkable%20improvement%20of%20Thai%20EFL%20young%20learners_Aug.2021.pdf>. 

 

Republic of Gambia. (2009).  IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF INTERVENTIONS ON EARLY GRADE READING ABILITY (EGRA) IN SCHOOLS. Retrieved from <https://www.jollylearning.co.uk/evidence/research/>. 

 

Government of Nigeria. (2014). REPORT ON THE MONITORING EXERCISE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF JOLLY PHONICS APPROACH IN THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, ABUJA. Retrieved from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/jolly2/Research/Jolly+Phonics+in+FCT.pdf>. 

 

N, Katechaiyo, Et al. EFFECTS OF JOLLY PHONICS INSTRUCTION FOR PUPIL BOOK 1 ON READING ABILITY OF THAI EFL YOUNG LEARNERS. Retrieved from <https://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/Research/Revealing%20the%20secrets%20of%20remarkable%20improvement%20of%20Thai%20EFL%20young%20learners_Aug.2021.pdf>. 

 

-NRP. (2001). Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence Based Assessment of the Scientific Literature on Reading Instruction. United States Government. Retrieved from <https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/nrp/Documents/report.pdf>.

 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>.


 

SPIRE:

M, Gallagher. (2019). S.P.I.R.E. Intensive Reading Intervention: A Comparative Analysis at Second Through Sixth. Spire. Retrieved from <https://eps.schoolspecialty.com/EPS/media/Site-Resources/Downloads/research-papers/Study-Intensive-Reading-Intervention-Gallagher-2019-SPIRE.pdf>. 

 

M, Wilger. (2008). Spring Independent SchoolDistrict (ISD),TX 2007-2008 SchoolYear. Auto Skill International. Retrieved from <https://eps.schoolspecialty.com/EPS/media/Site-Resources/Downloads/studies/ES_Spring_TX.pdf>. 

 

A, Grippi. (2006). Teaching the Disruptive Child to Read: An Evaluation of the SPIRE Reading Program. International Journal of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from <https://eps.schoolspecialty.com/EPS/media/Site-Resources/Downloads/Miscellaneous/spire/teaching-the-disruptive-child.pdf?ext=.pdf>. 


 

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_o

f_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.

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

 

Rewards: 

C, Buttler. (2013). The impact of REWARDS on reading skills of students with learning disabilities. California State University. <https://digitalcommons.csumb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1402&context=caps_thes>.

 

M, Shippen. (2004). A Comparison of Two Direct Instruction Reading Programs for Urban Middle School Students. Remedial and Special Education. Retrieved from <http://mathenrich.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/52804182/AComparison.pdf>. 

 

Anita Archer, Mary Gleason, and Vicky Vachon. (No known date). Unidentified RCT Study. Broken link: <https://fcrr.org/FCRRReports/PDF/RewardsPlus.pdf>. 

 

I, Klee. (2015). The Effect Using the REWARDS® Reading Program on Vowel Sounds, Word Part, and Prefix and Suffix Identification in Multi-Syllabic Words: A Case Report. Education Research Quarterly. Retrieved from <https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1061951>. 

 

R, Autzen. (2021). REWARDS: A Reading Intervention Program to Address Grade Level Reading Ability. Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase Proceedings. Retrieved from <https://journals.uc.edu/index.php/Undergradshowcase/article/view/4582/3456>. 

 

R, Kerl. (2018). Timing is Everything: Adapting Rewards Intermediate For 4th And 5th Grade Striving Readers. Hamline University. Retrieved from <https://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5436&context=hse_all>.
 

The Learning Company. (2020). HMH Into Reading Implementation Study Research Study Results 2019-2020. Retrieved from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-hmhco-vmg-craftcms-public/research/Research-Results-Paper-Into-Reading-2019-2020-SY.pdf>.  

 

R, Eddy, Et al. (2020). QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN. Cobblestone. Retrieved from <https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-hmhco-vmg-craftcms-public/research/HMH-Into-Reading-ESSA-Tier-2-QED-Study-Report.pdf>. 

 

HMH. (2022). Research Into Reading Research Foundations. Retrieved from <https://www.hmhco.com/research/hmh-into-reading-research-foundations>. 

 

Voyageur Sopris. (2022). Reading Intervention. Retrieved from <https://www.voyagersopris.com/literacy/rewards/overview>. 

 

Take Flight:

Ring, J., Avrit, K., Black, J., Ring, J. J., Avrit, K. J., & Black, J. L. (2017). Take Flight: the evolution of an Orton Gillingham-based curriculum. Annals of Dyslexia, 67(3), 383–400. https://doi-org.ezproxy.lakeheadu.ca/10.1007/s11881-017-0151-9

 

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.