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Evaluating a Multicomponent Reading Program Designed to Address theDiverse Needs of Struggling Readers in Late Elementary School


The goal of this project is to develop a multicomponent reading program to address the diverse needs of late elementary school students who are struggling readers. In developing the instructional components and procedures, we plan to exploit the enormous potential of text to increase the knowledge base (i.e., vocabulary and declarative) of struggling readers. Our primary objective in this study is to develop instructional dialogues, strategies, materials, and assessments that will increase the probability that struggling readers will derive and retain vocabulary and declarative knowledge while reading text. Additionally, to aid in transfer of these skills to the general education curriculum, the instructional program will provide students with experience applying the target skills in science and social studies texts.

Our performance goals include: 1) Development of in text dialogues, strategies, materials, and assessments that can be used to improve vocabulary and declarative knowledge learning during reading of expository text, and 2) Carry out a randomized clinical study to evaluate the relative effectiveness of providing instruction designed to (1) develop vocabulary knowledge or (2) improve declarative knowledge as compared to traditional teacher-directed reading instruction without dialogue.