The relative effects of group size on reading progress of older students with reading difficulties


This study reports findings on the relative effects from a yearlong secondary intervention contrasting large-group, small-group, and school-provided interventions emphasizing word study, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension with seventh- and eighth-graders with reading difficulties. Findings indicate that few statistically significant results or clinically significant gains were associated with group size or intervention. Findings also indicate that a significant acceleration of reading outcomes for seventh- and eighth-graders from high-poverty schools is unlikely to result from a 50 min daily class. Instead, the findings indicate, achieving this outcome will require more comprehensive models including more extensive intervention (e.g., more time, even smaller groups), interventions that are longer in duration (multiple years), and interventions that vary in emphasis based on specific students' needs (e.g., increased focus on comprehension or word study).



Group size, Older students, Reading progress


Copyright 2010 Reading and Writing. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Vaughn, Sharon, Jeanne Wanzek, Jade Wexler, Amy Barth, Paul T. Cirino, Jack Fletcher, Melissa Romain, Carolyn A. Denton, Greg Roberts, and David Francis. "The Relative Effects of Group Size on Reading Progress of Older Students with Reading Difficulties." Reading and Writing 23, no. 8 (2010): 931-956. doi: 10.1007/s11145-009-9183-9. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.