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© 2017 Crown copyright. This study evaluated two 20-week reading interventions for pupils entering secondary school with reading difficulties. The interventions were delivered by trained teaching assistants (three 35-min sessions per week). 287 pupils (ages 11–13) from 27 schools were randomly allocated to three groups: reading intervention (targeting word recognition and decoding skills), reading intervention plus comprehension, or a waiting list control group. Neither intervention produced statistically significant gains in word reading but the reading intervention plus comprehension intervention produced significant gains in reading comprehension (d = 0.29) and vocabulary (d = 0.34). Further evaluations of methods to improve word reading in this population are needed.

Original publication




Journal article


Scientific Studies of Reading

Publication Date





408 - 427