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A high-dosage tutoring program facilitates reading achievement of beginning readers
By Zhihui Kaya Feng, Johns Hopkins University
The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (2019) indicates that 65% of fourth graders in the U.S. do not show proficiency in reading. Given that reading skills in kindergarten and first grade have been demonstrated by many studies to be critical to students’ academic success and societal achievements, there is an urgent demand for interventions that effectively facilitate young children’s acquisition of reading skills. Recently, a study was conducted to examine the effect of a one-on-one high-dosage tutoring program, Chapter One, on kindergarten and first grade learners.
Chapter One provides students who struggle to read with paraprofessional tutors who help them develop their literacy skills via digital applications. This study involved 185 kindergarten and first grade students in an Ohio Title 1 school, who were randomly assigned to the treatment group, who received both teacher instruction and Chapter One tutoring 2-3 times per week during school days, or the control group, who only received teacher instruction. After the experiment, the researchers found that Chapter One’s one-on-one high-dosage tutoring program significantly improved reading performance of students in their kindergarten and first grade years. The authors also argued that trained paraprofessionals, high-quality curricula concurrent with classroom instruction, and frequent implementation constituted effective tutoring programs. Long-term tracking on Chapter One users and replication of this study in other districts were also advocated by the authors.