The Problem(s) With Reading Recovery

How to Correct Your Child Without Discouraging them (30)Reading Recovery® is a strategy that has been praised by schools around the world and is currently being used in 10,000 elementary schools in the United States. Reading Recovery® is an early intervention program developed in New Zealand by Marie Clay in 1985. It was targeted towards children who perform at or below the 20th percentile in reading after a year of formal instruction.

Children who are selected for the program are provided with 30 to 40 minutes of daily one on one practice during the school day over a period of between 12 and 20 weeks.

But more recently, information has been coming out to discredit the reliability of results for the program.

Two scholars, William E. Tumner and James W. Chapman, have written a paper contesting the validity of the program– calling it “Reading Recovery®: Distinguishing Myth from Reality.”

6659997829_3156c9fa12They concluded that about 30 percent of students who begin Reading Recovery® do not complete the program and do not perform significantly better than control students. Tumner and Chapman say that results reported in favor of the program are probably inflated due to careful selection of the students used in the study. Another possibility to why the original study was deemed “successful” was because the one-on-one instruction is going to be more successful than group learning no matter what the subject.

The researchers also pointed out that the program encourages students to use context when trying to figure out a word. For example, using pictures or the words around it to guess what the desired word says. As you can gather, guessing is not an effective way to improve a child’s literacy skills.

The main problem with this program is that they pull the children out of their normal classroom environment during the day to teach the material the same way as if they stayed within the classroom. If children are not understanding the way the material is taught the first time, teaching them the same way in a more intimate setting is not going to change their comprehension.

Lexercise, on the other hand, effectively tweaks the teaching curriculum and method to fit each student’s needs. This customization is one reason we guarantee a grade level reading improvement after two months of therapy.

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Taylor Quinn

Blog & PR Intern

Taylor is a senior studying communication at NC State University. As the Blog and PR intern for lexercise she utilizes her passion for writing to help inform parents of struggling readers, writers and spellers. She feels a connection to Lexercise through her love for children and their well-being.