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A systematic review of reading interventions for secondary school students

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
DateAccepted/In press - 24 May 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 1 Aug 2016
Pages (from-to)116-127
Early online date1/08/16
Original languageEnglish


A systematic review of interventions designed to improve the reading skills of secondary school students summarised the evidence base regarding effectiveness. Studies conducted between 1999 and 2014 which used a randomised controlled design were included. Eight studies were categorised according to whether they targeted multiple component reading skills or reading comprehension skills only. Regarding the former, three of the four studies employed computer-aided instruction; the evidence base suggests that this method is not effective. In studies targeting reading comprehension skills only, the evidence indicates low effect sizes on reading comprehension outcomes when measured using standardised tests. Tutor led one-to one support in word recognition or decoding using an RCT design, and interventions which directly target student’s language comprehension, are needed.

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