Authors: Katz LA, Carlisle JF
Title: Teaching students with reading difficulties to be close readers: a feasibility study
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2009 40(3): 325-340
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: This article describes a program that was designed to help upper elementary students read and understand words as they read texts independently. As a first step in helping middle-to-upper elementary children with mild-to-moderate language and/or reading difficulties engage in textual analysis during reading, the Close Reading program combines instruction in morphological-analysis and context-analysis strategies with guided experiences applying these strategies during reading. METHOD: To carry out an initial feasibility study of the program, we conducted 3 case studies using standardized pretest and posttest measures of language and reading skills and experimental progress monitoring measures administered before, during, and after instruction. Three fourth-grade girls participated in the 12-week program. RESULTS: All 3 students showed improved word reading and comprehension with small to large effect sizes on standardized and experimental measures. Patterns of improvement reflected the initial strengths and weaknesses of the students' reading and language skills. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that further experimental investigation of this program is warranted. Instruction in morphological-analysis strategies with guided practice during reading holds promise as a way to improve word reading and comprehension for struggling readers in the middle-to-upper elementary years.

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