Multisyllabic Word-Reading Instruction With and Without Motivational Beliefs Training for Struggling Readers in Upper Elementary Grades: A Pilot Investigation


This randomized controlled trial focused on 59 struggling readers in the third and fourth grades (30 female, 29 male) and examined the efficacy of an intervention aimed at increasing students’ multisyllabic word reading (MWR). The study also explored the relative effects of an embedded motivational beliefs (MB) training component. Struggling readers were randomly assigned to one of three groups: MWR only, MWR with an MB component (MWR + MB), or business-as-usual control. Students were tutored in small groups in 24 sessions, three 40-minute lessons each week. Students in both MWR groups outperformed the control group on measures of word-reading fluency. MWR + MB students outperformed MWR only on sentence-level comprehension and outperformed the control group in ratings of attributions for success in reading. Findings are discussed in terms of their relevance to MWR instruction for students with persistent reading difficulties and the potential for enhancing intervention through targeting motivation.


Toste, J. R., Capin, P., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G. J., & Roberts, G. J.(2017). Multisyllabic word-reading instruction with and without motivational beliefs training for struggling readers in the upper elementary grades: A pilot investigation. The Elementary School Journal. Advance online publication. doi:10.1086/691684