Overview

The goal of this project is to systematically replicate the Read Well program to determine its impact on first-grade children with reading difficulties. Although a previous study indicated positive outcomes for letter names and sounds and word reading development in kindergarten, additional research will help determine whether Read Well also works in first grade, for whom it works, and under what conditions. The research team will examine these issues through a series of systematic replications that include students who are culturally and linguistically diverse and who attend urban, suburban, and rural elementary schools in Virginia, California, and Texas.

More information is available on the Institute of Education Sciences website.

Project Leadership

Principal Investigators

Texas Project Coordinator

Colleen Moore, The University of Texas at Austin

Outcomes

The research team will test the hypothesis that students who receive the Read Well intervention will have significantly higher reading outcomes than students who do not receive the intervention.

Project Design

Procedures

In this novel, phased replication approach, the research team will test the supplemental reading intervention (Systematic Replication 1) implemented under “ideal” conditions, with researchers as the implementers. Dependent on the results from the first phase of replication studies with input from an external advisory board to inform decision-making, the second series of studies will evaluate the impact of Read Well 1 (RW1) when either (a) the curriculum is delivered by school personnel (Systematic Replication 2; 2A below) or (b) enhanced versions of the curriculum are delivered by research or school personnel (Alternative Systematic Replication 2; 2B below). 

1. Systematic Replication 1

  • Research question (RQ) 1.1. Does Read Well, as delivered by research personnel, improve struggling first-grade readers’ proximal and distal reading outcomes across three sites? 
  • RQ 1.2. Do the effects of Read Well, as delivered by research personnel, replicate across three sites in California, Texas, and Virginia?

2A. Systematic Replication 2 (RW1 yielded positive effects under ideal conditions)

  • RQ 2.1A. Does Read Well, as delivered by school personnel, improve struggling first-grade readers’ proximal and distal reading outcomes across three sites?
  • RQ 2.2A. Do the effects of Read Well, as delivered by school personnel, replicate across three sites in California, Texas, and Virginia? 
  • RQ 2.3A. Do the effects of Read Well, as delivered by research personnel, replicate when the intervention is delivered by school personnel?

2B. Alternative Systematic Replication 2 (RW1 did not yield positive effects with ideal conditions)

  • RQ 2.1B. Does Enhanced Read Well, as delivered by research personnel, improve struggling first-grade readers’ proximal and distal reading outcomes across three sites? 
  • RQ 2.2B. Does Enhanced Read Well, as delivered by school personnel, improve struggling first-grade readers’ proximal and distal literacy outcomes across three sites? 

3. Cost Analysis and Cost Effectiveness

  • RQ 3.1. What is the overall cost of implementing Read Well, and how costly is the intervention relative to any gains in reading comprehension and its subcomponent skills (alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, phonics, decoding, fluency, language) that it may produce (i.e., its cost effectiveness)?

4. Exploratory Questions

  • RQ 4.1. Do the effects of Read Well replicate for the proximal reading outcomes with distal measures of student reading? 
  • RQ 4.2. Do the effects of Read Well replicate for native English speakers and English learners?

Participants

First-grade students identified as at risk for reading difficulty or disability or who have a mild to moderate reading difficulty or disability, both English learners and English-fluent speakers, will be included in the study.

Sites

Because the purpose of this conceptual replication is to evaluate the replicability of effects across sites, the study will be conducted at three sites with significant similarities but also some differences in the distribution of participant and setting characteristics. 

  • Site 1: California
  • Site 2: Texas
  • Site 3: Virginia

Participating schools in California and Texas have high concentrations of English learners, which will allow evaluation of whether RW1 results replicate to students who speak a language other than English in their homes.

Background

Read Well was developed with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences. Gunn et al. (2010) found that students in the Read Well Kindergarten intervention performed better than students in the control group on the two curriculum-based measures of decodable words and sight words.

Contact Information

Doris Luft Baker
Co-Principal Investigator
doris.baker@austin.utexas.edu