Reading & Literacy

Does Reading Recovery Work for English-Learners? We Don’t Know.

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 16, 2009 1 min read
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The What Works Clearinghouse of the U.S. Department of Education explored the question of whether the Reading Recovery short-term tutoring intervention is effective with English-language learners, but it didn’t come up with an answer. The reason: the clearinghouse determined that the 13 studies it identified about the use of Reading Recovery with ELLs didn’t meet its “evidence standards,” which is not an uncommon occurrence for the clearinghouse. So it wasn’t able to draw a conclusion about the impact of the intervention, according to a report published this week by the Education Department’s Institute of Education Sciences.

The clearinghouse ruled out eight studies because they didn’t have a control group that could be compared with the treatment group of students. Three others were ruled out because the control group wasn’t considered to be comparable to the treatment group before the start of the intervention.

Reading Recovery provides one-on-one tutoring, generally in pull-out sessions, by trained teachers for half an hour each day for 12 to 20 weeks, according to the report.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.