Effects of an Intensive Reading Intervention for Ninth-Grade English Learners With Learning Disabilities


English learners with learning disabilities have well-documented difficulties comprehending text. This study examined the effects of an intensive reading intervention, Reading Intervention for Adolescents, on reading outcomes (word reading, vocabulary, and comprehension) for ninth-grade English learners with learning disabilities (n = 85). In Reading Intervention for Adolescents, students received instruction in advanced word study, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Participants assigned to Reading Intervention for Adolescents received the intervention for the entire ninth-grade school year for approximately 3.75 to 4.25 hours a week. Students in the comparison condition participated in elective courses. After using analysis of covariance to test for treatment effects and controlling for false discovery rate, there were no significant differences between the two groups, except on the proximal vocabulary measure (g = 0.41). Small, nonsignificant effects were observed on measures of word reading and sentence-level comprehension, and Hedges’s g values ranged from 0.08 to 0.18. Findings reveal the challenges of improving reading outcomes for English learners with learning disabilities in high school.


Williams, K. J., & Vaughn, S. (2020). Effects of an intensive reading intervention for ninth-grade English learners with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 43(3), 154–166. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948719851745