Scale-Up Evaluation of Reading Intervention for First-Grade English Learners


The purpose of this 5-year project is to determine the effectiveness of the Proactiva/Proactive curriculum—a fully developed first-grade literacy and oracy intervention in Spanish and English with proven efficacy and with roots in SRA’s Early Interventions in Reading (see Vaughn et al., 2006; Francis et al., 2007)—when school personnel implement it directly across various settings and populations and to assess the factors at the student and school levels that moderate intervention effectiveness. The settings and populations in the current study vary from close to far extensions of the populations and settings in the original efficacy trials.


Research is ongoing.

Project Design



Teacher-implemented Proactiva/Proactive curriculum with elementary bilingual (Spanish) readers

Control Condition

Students in the control condition receive school-designed, or “business-as-usual,” reading instruction to determine whether the Proactiva/Proactive curriculum is more effective than reading instruction that bilingual students generally receive in elementary schools.

Measures of Key Outcomes

The study uses well-accepted, standardized measures to test the effectiveness of the treatment in improving students’ word-level reading skills, reading comprehension, and oral language skills.

Primary Research Method

This study uses a multisite cluster randomized design. Researchers randomly assign schools to experimental treatment versus business-as-usual control.

Data Analytic Strategy

Researchers test hypotheses using a three-level, repeated-measure analysis of covariance with the pretest as a covariate at the student and school levels. Primary analyses of treatment effectiveness follow an intent-to-treat model. In addition, researchers examine the role of student and school characteristics as moderators of intervention effectiveness.


Two studies are proposed (Close Extension and Near-Far Extension), each comprising two cohorts of 10 schools (20 schools per study), four classrooms per school, and 5 to 10 students per classroom. The research team screens all first-grade students in the schools, but the schools decide—using their own data and policies—which students are at risk and merit intervention in addition to their core reading program. The research team follows all students who meet research criteria for intervention, all students the school identifies for intervention, and—to assess outcomes for typically developing children in the same classrooms—a small group of students whom neither the school nor research team identifies as being in need of services.


Francis, D. J., August, D. L., Snow, C. E., Vaughn, S., Linan-Thompson, S., Hiebert, E. H., & Branum-Martin, L. (2007). Oracy/literacy development in Spanish-speaking children (developed with funds from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, #HD-39-521). Development of Literacy in Spanish Speaking Children.

Vaughn, S., Cirino, P. T., Linan-Thompson, S., Mathes, P. G., Carlson, C. D., Hagan, E. C., . . . Francis, D. J. (2006). Effectiveness of a Spanish intervention and an English intervention for English-language learners at risk for reading problems. American Educational Research Journal, 43(3), 449–487.