The use of interventions for promoting reading development among struggling readers
Abstract: A challenge for both researchers and practising teachers is to develop, disseminate and implement methods to help all students acquire good reading skills. One way to do this is to conduct intervention studies. Within the framework of this dissertation two such studies are carried out with the purpose of promoting the reading development of children whose reading ability has not yet reached the adequate age level.The empirical material consists of two studies containing different interventions. These studies form the basis of the four articles included in the dissertation. The overall aim was to analyse the effects of the interventions with regard to both quantitative aspects of pupils’ reading abilities as well as the qualitative aspects of interpreting intervention as a method for promoting reading development. The interventions contain training programmes aiming at promoting pupils’ reading development. The participants of the first study attended grades 1-4, while in the other study only pupils from grade 2 participated. The first study comprises two different training programmes, one of which was computer-based.In the other study both training programmes were computer-based. One programme focused on phonology, whereas the other was more oriented towards reading comprehension. Results showed that pupils who received a combination of phonological and comprehension training made greater progress on tests measuring word decoding, phonological ability and reading comprehension than the comparison groups. These results are valid in the short term, i.e. immediately after the end of the intervention, but also in the long term, one year after the intervention was concluded. The results also demonstrate that computer-based intervention in reading training with a strict framework, combined with individually adapted contents may be both effective and motivating and also have a substantial effect on the success of the interventions. The results from one of the studies also showed that it is possible to achieve positive results on pupils’ reading skills with interventions that do not contain any homework. The main contribution of this thesis is important for further research and measures for children with reading disabilities.
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